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Japan Sends Talking Humanoid Robot Into Space

Eric Parra |
August 4, 2013 | 10:25 a.m. PDT

Executive Producer

The robot is meant to be a communication connection between humans and machine (inquirer)
The robot is meant to be a communication connection between humans and machine (inquirer)
While sending humans to space has been going on since Neil Armstrong took his first step on the moon, Japan has made a new step by sending out the world’s first humanoid, talking robot.

READ MORE: MacGyver Bot In Production From Georgia

Named Kirobo, a play on the Japanese words for “Hope” and “Robot,” the robot took to space in a rocket ship on Sunday from the International Space Station from Tanegashima, southwestern Japan, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA.

From Associated Press

“The childlike robot was designed to be a companion for astronaut Koichi Wakata, and will communicate with another robot on Earth, according to developers. Wakata is expected to arrive at the space station in November.

Robot designer Tomotaka Takahashi, of the University of Tokyo, advertiser Dentsu and automaker Toyota Motor Corp. worked on the robot.

The challenge was making sure it could move and talk where there was no gravity.”

The robot is only 13 inches tall (34 centimeters to be precise) and has a childlike image. When talking to reporters, it stated “one small step for me, a giant leap for robots."

The robot, while serving as a companion for the human astronaut, Wakata, will also be communicating with an earth-stationed robot at the command center. 

The designer, Takahashi, said "I wish for this robot to function as a mediator between person and machine, or person and Internet and sometimes even between people.”

The rocket was reported to have launched successfully without any damage to the cargo or passengers.


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