Kirobo the talking robot blasts into space on historic mission

Sun Aug 4, 2013 3:26pm IST

Humanoid communication robot Kirobo shakes hands with Tomotaka Takahashi, CEO of Robo Garage Co and project associate professor, research centre for advanced science and technology, the University of Tokyo, during its unveiling in Tokyo June 26, 2013. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Humanoid communication robot Kirobo shakes hands with Tomotaka Takahashi, CEO of Robo Garage Co and project associate professor, research centre for advanced science and technology, the University of Tokyo, during its unveiling in Tokyo June 26, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Toru Hanai

Related Topics

Stocks

   

REUTERS - Kirobo, a knee-high talking robot with red boots and a black and white body, has blasted off from Japan for the International Space Station to test how machines can help astronauts with their work.

The Japanese-speaking robot, equipped with voice- and facial-recognition technology, was packed into an unmanned cargo vessel along with tonnes of supplies and equipment for the crew of the orbital research base.

The cargo vessel, launched from the Tanegashima Space Center in southwestern Japan on Sunday, will arrive at the outpost on Friday, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's website.

At a recent demonstration, Kirobo said it "hoped to create a future where humans and robots live together and get along".

As it carries on the first robot-human chats in space, Kirobo's main conversation partner will be Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, who is expected to take off for the space station with six other crew members in November.

Wakata is due to take command of the complex, a $100 billion project by 15 nations, next March. Kirobo - jointly developed by the University of Tokyo, Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) and Dentsu Inc (4324.T) - will stay in space until late 2014.

Standing 34 cm (13 inches) tall and weighing about 1 kg (2.2 pounds), Kirobo is designed to navigate in zero gravity and gets its name from "kibo", the Japanese word for "hope", and "robot".

(Reporting by John O'Callaghan; Editing by Ron Popeski)

FILED UNDER:

Online Shopping

An empty shopping cart is seen outside a Best Buy store in Westbury, New York November 28, 2014. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

BestBuy.com back online after second Black Friday outage

Best Buy Co Inc's retail website is back online after it was down for a second time on Black Friday, the busiest U.S. shopping day in terms of sales and traffic since 2005, according to ShopperTrak.  Full Article 

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Gold Imports

Gold Imports

India eases gold import rule in surprise move.  Article 

Indians in Iraq

Indians in Iraq

India says no contact with 39 men held by Islamic State in Iraq.  Full Article 

Sahara Issue

Sahara Issue

Sahara looks to raise $650 million loan to fund bail.  Full Article 

Bhopal Tragedy

Bhopal Tragedy

Bhopal's toxic legacy lives on, 30 years after industrial disaster.  Full Article 

Banking Sector

Banking Sector

After record deal, more India bank takeovers on cards  Full Article 

Islamic Fund

Islamic Fund

India gets new Islamic equity fund but debt market still off-limits  Full Article 

Cricket Tragedy

Cricket Tragedy

Clarke breaks down giving heartfelt Hughes tribute  Full Article 

Nigeria Violence

Nigeria Violence

Bombs, gunfire kill 81 at crowded mosque in Nigeria's Kano  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

D’Silva's “Ungli” just skims the surface  Full Article | Related Story 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage