Customer Success Story

Andrea and Airbus: CIMON, the First AI Robot to Operate in Outer Space

CIMON: The First AI Robot to Operate in Outer Space

Andrea Electronics, the pioneer of digital array microphones and noise reduction software that optimizes the performance of voice driven applications, has announced that its DA-250 array microphone is incorporated in to the CIMON virtual assistant robot that will operate as part of the “Horizons” project on the International Space Station.

This will be the first form of artificial intelligence (AI) on an ISS mission. CIMON is an experiment overseen by Space Administration at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in cooperation with Airbus as the prime contractor as well as IBM, Reichert Design and LMU Munich.

CIMON (Crew Interactive Mobile CompanioN) is a mobile and autonomous assistance system designed to aid ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst with his everyday tasks on the International Space Station (ISS). Together they will experiment with crystals, solve the Rubik magic cube based on videos and conduct a complex medical experiment using CIMON as an ‘intelligent’ flying camera.

CIMON’s digital face, voice and use of artificial intelligence make it a “colleague” to the crew members. This collegial “working relationship” facilitates how astronauts work through their prescribed checklists of experiments, now entering into a genuine dialogue with their interactive assistant. The developers responsible for CIMON predict that this will help reduce astronauts’ stress and at the same time improve efficiency. In addition, CIMON helps enhance safety, because it can also serve as an early warning system in case of technical problems in the future.

Watson speech and vision technologies helped train CIMON to recognize Alexander Gerst, using voice samples and Gerst, as well as “non-Gerst” images. It also used the Watson Visual Recognition service to learn the construction plans of the Columbus module on the International Space Station to be able to easily move around. CIMON also learned all the procedures to help carrying out the on-board experiments. Experiments sometimes consist of more than 100 different steps, CIMON knows them all.

DA-250 Array Microphone

“Airbus required a high performance microphone to operate in this unique user environment. They tested other digital array microphones, but nothing solved the complex audio issues like the Andrea DA-250 DSP array microphone with its industrial NR performance and seamless integration for solving the front end far field voice input for CIMON,” said Douglas Andrea, CEO of Andrea Electronics Corporation.

DA-250 Technology

Click here to learn more about Andrea Electronics’ DA-250 technology.