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Earth's 1st Robot-Astronaut that can Communicate with Humans Readies for Space Launch



           Japanconvers (1)


The world's first space conversation experiment between a robot and humans is ready to be launched into space from the Tanegashima Space Center on August 4, 2013. The Humanoid communication robot Kirobo, shown left above, left, talks with Fuminori Kataoka, project general manager from Toyota Motor Corp. "Russia was the first to go outer space, the U.S. was the first to go to the moon, we want Japan to be the first to send a robot-astronaut to space that can communicate with humans," said Yorichika Nishijima, the Kirobo project manager.

During the demonstration, Kataoka, project general manager from Toyota, asked Kirobo what its dream was. "I want to create a future where humans and robots can live together and get along," it answered.

Tomotaka Takahashi, CEO of Robo Garage Co. and associate professor at the University of Tokyo, said he hopes robots like Kirobo that hold conversations will eventually be used to assist astronauts working in space.

"When people think of robots in outer space, they tend to seek ones that do things physically," said Takahashi. "But I think there is something that could come from focusing on humanoid robots that focus on communication."

Because Kirobo, which means "hope" in Japanese, does not need to perform physical activities, it is smaller than most robots that go into space. Kirobo is about 34 centimeters tall (13 inches) and weighs about 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds).


But can it speak Botchi?

Of course it can, it's like a second language to him

A protocol droid?

It's just a speaker with legs, I can't imagine that toy can do much in space except float around ...

In the Star Wars universe R2D2 was a protocol-droid whose only purpose was to act as a liaison between species, being able to communicate in a million known languages and dialects (although, I don't know if he spoke in sign). What role would Kirobo play on the International Space Station, and would other robots follow behind these first gen-astrodroids? While NASA is getting teens chasing after basketballs and whatever; the rest of the world is developing real robotics for the real world

c3po was the protocol droid, i think r2d2 is more of a all purpose maintenance bot capable of lots of tasks.

The robot has probably been designed for communication on long-term missions, the Japanese are severely worried about astronaut loneliness while making long, deep-space journeys.

They'll probably start doing psychological testing on the astronauts interactions with Kirobo, then develop the robot from there.

Looks interesting, is this the first baby-steps to HAL 9000?

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