The Crew Interactive Mobile Companion (or CIMON for short) recorded a number of firsts on its initial mission to the International Space Station, which took place last November, including becoming the first ever autonomous free-floating robot to operate aboard the station, and the first ever smart astronaut assistant. But CIMON is much more than an Alexa for space, and CIMON-2, which launched aboard today’s SpaceX ISS resupply mission, will demonstrate a number of ways the astronaut support robot can help those working in space – from both a practical and an emotional angle.

CIMON is the joint-product of a collaboration between IBM, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Airbus, and its aim is to design and develop a robotic assistant for use in space

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