A robot with emotion-sensing voice detectors has been launched to the International Space Station.
The spherical Crew Interactive Mobile Companion 2 (CIMON 2) features microphones, cameras, and software to facilitate emotion recognition.
The English-speaking robot uses algorithms from IBM and data gathered by its CIMON 1 predecessor to be more sociable with astronauts; it will test technologies that could play an essential role in future manned deep-space missions.
CIMON 2 also is programmed to compensate for groupthink behavior, which may arise when teams of people are isolated and make irrational decisions.
CIMON 2 lead architect Matthias Biniok said in times of conflict or disagreement, the robot would function as an "objective outsider that you can talk to if you're alone or could actually help let the group collaborate again."
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