This time, it's staying for three years.

Emotional AI

CIMON, the robot assistant built to help astronauts on the International Space Station, is back in action after an upgrade to its artificial intelligence.

The robot, formerly known as a bit of a brat, is now able to better detect and respond to human emotions, according to an IBM press release. Apparently, CIMON-2 will use IBM's Watson AI to better detect astronauts' tone.

Long Tenure

CIMON-2 was sent into space on a SpaceX rocket that launched earlier this month.

This time around, the spherical bot is expected to stay in orbit for three years straight, according to the release.

Local Support

The ultimate goal is to develop robot assistants that can help human crew members on future missions that involve long journeys into deep space — during which communications with Earth will be strained due to signal delays.

"On a journey to the Moon or Mars, the crew would be able to rely on an AI-based assistance service, without a permanent data link to Earth," CIMON project manager Christian Karrasch said in the release.

READ MORE: AI-powered astronaut assistant returns to space with 'emotional intelligence' [IBM]
More on CIMON: A Robotic Virtual Assistant Is Heading to the ISS

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