The Crew Interactive Mobile CompanioN (CIMON) is designed to help astronauts with their jobs and to create a feeling of talking to a crew mate, and playing with a Rubik cube. He's being taken up to the ISS today, on board a Space X rocket on a resupply mission.
CIMON will be powered by more than a dozen propellers to help it zip around and avoid bumping into things inside the Columbus module of the space lab.
CIMON was built by European aerospace company Airbus for the space agency of Germany. Simon has already been tested on a parabolic flight - an airplane that flies a special trajectory to make a brief moment of weightlessness. Alexander Gerst, a German astronaut now aboard the ISS, helped design CIMON's screen prompts and vocal controls. However, it will also show images or videos as needed.
Gerst can also ask the robot questions beyond the simple procedure at hand.
All six crew members at the orbiting outpost can speak to CIMON, though it has been taught to work best with Gerst.
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket with its Dragon capsule (which will deliver the goods to the ISS) launched at 5:42 a.m. ET amid good weather conditions and with no technical difficulties.
NASA astronauts Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel will use the space station's Canadarm2 robotic arm to capture Dragon when it arrives at the station.
"We have implemented this experiment in a very short time".
SpaceX CRS-15 Mission: What's On Board?
However, SpaceX will not attempt to give ground to this Falcon 9 after Liftoff.
It was an especially gorgeous launch, delighting spectators as the rocket plume expanded in the clear night sky like a giant halo, beneath a almost full moon at Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Scientists experimented on the use of artificial intelligence to reduce stress levels of humans in space.
It launches from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Friday at 5:42 am (0942 GMT), along with some 5,900 pounds (2,700 kilograms) of gear packed aboard SpaceX's unmanned Dragon cargo capsule.
Weather is not expected to be an issue Friday with U.S. Air Force Weather officials predicting a near flawless forecast with 90 percent "go" conditions for the instant launch window.