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:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

E-COMMERCE

Reuters Showcase

Qualcomm Probe

Qualcomm Probe

Chipmaker Qualcomm may face EU antitrust probe - sources.  Full Article 

Google Acquisition

Google Acquisition

Google buys video-processing service provider Zync Render.  Full Article 

Tech Investment

Tech Investment

Kleiner to invest in messaging startup Snapchat at near-$10 bln valuation - report.  Full Article 

Bigger iPad

Bigger iPad

Apple planning 12.9-inch iPad for 2015 - Bloomberg.  Full Article 

Antitrust Probe

Antitrust Probe

Chinese antitrust regulator targets Microsoft's web browser, media player.  Full Article 

IBM in China

IBM in China

ICBC deal shows U.S. tech giant IBM still engaged in China.  Full Article 

Hanks' Typewriter App

Hanks' Typewriter App

Tom Hanks' new app an homage to manual typewriters  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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