Talking robot takes off for International Space Station | Technology | theguardian.com

Talking robot takes off for International Space Station | Technology | theguardian.com

Kirobo the robot with its designer, Tomotaka Takahashi, before it departed for space. 
The first talking humanoid robot "astronaut" has taken off in a rocket en route to the International Space Station.

Kirobo – derived from the Japanese words for "hope" and "robot" – was among five tonnes of supplies and machinery on a rocket launched on Sunday for the International Space Station from Tanegashima, south-western Japan, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or Jaxa, said.

The childlike robot was designed to be a companion for the 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.

The robot designer Tomotaka Takahashi, of the University of Tokyo, the advertiser Dentsu and the carmaker Toyota worked on the robot. The challenge was making sure it could move and talk where there was no gravity.


 
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