Soyuz Capsule to be Piloted by a Humanoid Robot
On Thursday, the Skybot F-850 will pilot the Soyuz MS-14 to the International Space Station where it will spend a week performing several tasks and communicating with the crew while under control of astronaut Alexander Skvortsov.
The music video in the tweet below by Dmitry Rogozin, director general of Roscosmos, shows Skybot and some of its capabilities.
In a translated interview with Alexander Bloshenko, science adviser at Roscosmos, provides us with a bit more detail about Skybot F-850:
From a technical point of view, is this really a robot, or is it a remote manipulator that looks like a person?
Skybot F-850 is a robot—it's an automatic device with predefined programming and elements of artificial intelligence. It can maintain its equilibrium, convert general movements into separate locomotor functions, and independently provide expert support of the crew. In addition, the robot can work in avatar mode, under the control of a remote operator.
It was reported that the robot will communicate with the astronauts, and comment on the flight status in the Soyuz spacecraft. What does Skybot talk about? Can it make jokes?
Skybot F-850 can communicate on any topic. Before launching the Soyuz, the robot will describe prelaunch preparations, and during the launch and flight he will report the flight parameters and observed events. As the spacecraft enters orbit, the robot will determine the onset of zero gravity.
Like a person, Skybot F-850 is very sociable and has a sense of humor. As I said, he can support any topic of conversation, answer a variety of questions: from making introductions, to talking about its creators, and ending with the philosophy of space.
We are all looking forward to seeing the results from Skybot and how this experiment helps further develop robotics and AI.