‘Be nice’: International Space Station bot CIMON likes Kraftwerk and astronauts who are not mean 

The International Space Station has got a new team member and if this new shared footage is anything to go by, it’s quite the character.

AI bot CIMON  (Crew Interactive Mobile Companion) was brought aboard earlier this year with the aim of assisting crew and boosting morale.

But the floating basketball-shaped robot appeared to have its own opinions about what made for a happy crew, according to a new video shared by the station, which shows CIMON throwing a tantrum when told to stop playing music.

The robot even accuses European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst of being ‘mean’ and orders him to ‘be nice’ before demanding to know when it’s time for lunch.

Alexander Gerst interacts with CIMON aboard the International Space Station 

Alexander Gerst interacts with CIMON aboard the International Space Station 

Alexander Gerst interacts with CIMON aboard the International Space Station 

The video of began simply enough with Gerst asking CIMON, which is brought to life by IBM Watson artificial intelligence, to perform different commands and engages it in small talk throughout the demonstration.

American astronaut Serena Maria Auñón-Chancellor, is in the background and also recording the interaction at various points. 

CIMON answers politely and follows commands such as use the front facing camera and to play Gerst’s favorite song which, appropriately is ‘The Man-Machine’ by Kraftwerk.

‘Yay! I like your favorite hits too,’ CIMON responded, playing the German electronic band’s hit.

But things take a turn when the astronaut orders the robot to switch off the music.

‘I love music you can dance to,’ CIMON announces, ignoring the order.

As Gerst interacts with CIMON, things take an odd turn when the robot starts reprimanding the astronaut and telling him not to be mean 

As Gerst interacts with CIMON, things take an odd turn when the robot starts reprimanding the astronaut and telling him not to be mean 

As Gerst interacts with CIMON, things take an odd turn when the robot starts reprimanding the astronaut and telling him not to be mean 

Gerst was stunned when CIMON told him to 'be nice', replying 'I AM nice!'

Gerst was stunned when CIMON told him to 'be nice', replying 'I AM nice!'

Gerst was stunned when CIMON told him to ‘be nice’, replying ‘I AM nice!’

AI bot CIMON (Crew Interactive Mobile Companion) was brought aboard earlier this year with the aim of assisting crew and boosting morale 

AI bot CIMON (Crew Interactive Mobile Companion) was brought aboard earlier this year with the aim of assisting crew and boosting morale 

AI bot CIMON (Crew Interactive Mobile Companion) was brought aboard earlier this year with the aim of assisting crew and boosting morale 

 When Gerst repeats the request, CIMON admonishes him to ‘Be nice please.’

A stunned Gerst replies ‘I am nice!’ to which the robot replies with an almost sullen-sounding ‘Cool.’

Perhaps feeling a little forlorn, CIMON says, ‘Don’t be so mean please.

‘Don’t you like it here with me?’

Gerst and Auñón-Chancellor exchange a look, before Gerst tells the camera ‘He’s a bit sensitive today.’ 

CIMON, who has been floating middair in zero gravity, begins slinking off towards the deck before asking the crew when it’s time for lunch.  

While malfunctioning artificial intelligence in science fiction is almost always terrifying, such as HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey, this quirky interaction was more reminiscent of a parent and naughty child.

But the latest crew member of the ISS did bring a smile to Gerst and Auñón-Chancellor so perhaps it’s not doing too bad a job after all. 

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