First ever astronaut robot is being sent to the International Space Station

Kirobo

A talking robot known as Kirobo will be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) in order to accompany astronauts taking long journeys into space. Kirobo will be the first ever talking robot in space and he will be joined by his human counterpart Kochi Wakata who is set to take over as the ISS commander in November.

Kirobo is a combination of the Japanese words hope and robot, thus making the name quite suitable for its purpose. Kirobo has been programmed so that it will recognize Wakata when they meet each other again in November. It can also record conversations between itself and Wakata and is also expected to relay messages between space and earth.

Kirobo’s developer¬†Tomotaka Takahashi has stated that the most challenging aspect of building Kirobo was designing it to operate in the zero gravity environment of space. Kirobo also has a twin believe it or not called Mirata. Mirata will be linked to Kirobo and will be able to detect any problems experienced by its twin. Kirobo can also recognize faces ad voices and it possesses the ability to recognize emotions and process voices.

Quite an impressive piece of kit. Take a look at the video of Kirobo below.

[via NPR, image via The Guardian]

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