Airbus and the German Aerospace Center have created a circular AI robot that will join the crew on the International Space Station (ISS) this month. CIMON (Crew Interactive MObile companioN) can speak, respond to spoken commands and has a smiley face on its screen to put crew members at ease.
He is described by his makers as the astronauts' flight attendant and assistance system and is heading to the ISS for tests into the development of cooperation between humans and intelligent machines.
And if you've watched any science fiction movies from the last 50 years, this is where it all starts folks.
"Open the pod bay doors, CIMON."
"I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that!"
To be honest, we find it more exciting than scary and we're sure the astronauts on board the space station will find his company interesting and useful. Something like him could accompany the crew on the first manned mission to Mars, for example.
Oh, hang on, Lost in Space. Er...
Anyhow, we're sure CIMON will be a huge success and look forward to hearing more about his adventures. He's being taken up to the ISS today, on board a Space X rocket on a resupply mission.