Last month we reported that Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched a tiny talking ‘robot astronaut’ Kirobo towards International Space Station (ISS). The purpose of sending this robot was to talk to astronauts in space in Japanese language. The robot uttered its very first greetings to Earth from ISS.
Kirobo weighs one kilogram (2.2 pounds) and is 13 inches (34 centimeters) tall. It is equipped with voice-recognition technology, face recognition, a camera and emotion recognition and natural language processing. However, last August 21, the robot conveyed its greetings from ISS to Earth saying, in translation, “On August 21, 2013, a robot took one small step toward a brighter future for all.”
Be noted, Kirobo has been built by the University of Tokyo’s Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology as part of the Kibo Robot Project to develop new technologies in order to enhance human-robot interaction in space. Kirobo will speak to Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, who will go to ISS later this year in November. Here’s the video where Kirobo is saying its first words in space.
Kirobo will remain on the ISS for a year and a half before returning to Earth. It is expected that Koichi Wakata will enjoy Kirobo’s company till then.