World's First Talking Robot Sent Into Space
We must be on to something. No sooner did we start our investigation into robot companions, than Japan launched the world’s first talking robot into space to serve as
companion to astronaut Kochi Wakata who will begin his mission in November.
Measuring 34cm (13 inches), Kirobo arrived at the ISS on August 9th. Kirobo is part of a study to see how machines can lend emotional support to people isolated over long periods. Kirobo has been programmed to communicate in Japanese and keep records of its conversations with Mr Wakata who will take over as commander of the ISS later this year.In addition, it is expected to relay messages from the control room to the astronaut.
Kirobo’s name derives from the Japanese words for “hope” and “robot”. The small android weighs about 1kg (2.2 pounds) and has a wide range of physical motion. As if this was not cool enough, looks like someone is applying their geekdom. Kirobo’s design was inspired by the legendary animation character Astro Boy.