A curious robot is heading to the ISS aboard the next SpaceX resupply mission. It’s shaped like a ball with a flattened surface where its face is drawn on a screen — plus, it can speak, respond to spoken commands and fly. The machine called CIMON, which is short for Crew Interactive Mobile Companion, is pretty much a flying IBM-developed brain with a body and flight mechanism created by Airbus. READ MORE at Engadget
WHY THIS MATTERS: It’s designed to display repair instructions via voice command to keep an astronaut’s hands free. And, like your kitchen recipe iPad, it will also display procedures for experiments and pretty much serve as the space station’s autonomous, voice-controlled database. So Alexa in space? Before it can do everything it was created for, though, it has to be able to pass a few tests after it arrives on the ISS.