Kirobo the Robot makes it's first steps in Space
Robots are in the news a lot lately. From Googleâs mysterious plans to do something vaguely
robotic over the next ten years (weâre not allowed to know exactly what), to Amazonâs proposal
to build flying drones for international deliveries, it seems that the metal munchkins are everywhere,
but none are as cute, nor as interesting, as Kirobo.
Resembling a cross between a mid-90âs SNES protagonist and an overgrown Lego man, Kirobo
the robot stands at just 33CM tall (which is still positively gargantuan for a Lego man). His claim to
fame? Kirobo is the worldâs first robot astronaut and is currently orbiting the Earth aboard the
International Space Station (ISS), where he has been since August of this year.
Kirobo was designed and built during a collaboration between an advertising company called
Dentsu, the University of Tokyo and car manufacturers Toyota. He was designed as a companion for
Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, who is perhaps best known as the first Japanese person to
command the ISS.
Kiroboâs creators hope that thehere will provide emotional support to Wakata, providing
interesting sociological data regarding whether robotic companions can comfort individuals who are
subjected to long periods of isolation.
Kirobo has been specially designed to navigate zero gravity environments, he can also speak and
understand spoken commands. In fact, Kirobo has many of the same properties as a smartphone in
that he can record video and make (very) long distance calls (although his high score on âJuice
Cubesâ is not yet a matter of public record). Kiroboâs facial recognition software means that he
can recognise and react to certain individuals (presumably empathizing with their moods).
In addition to being a cutting edge piece of technology, Kirobo also appears to be of a friendly
disposition, the little guy has already called us from space, saying, âMy dream is to see human
beings and robots live together as friends,"
Kirobo also reportedly requested Wakataâs presence at the station, saying âI really want to see
you soonâ, heâll be waiting a long time, however, as Wakata is not due at the ISS for about
the origin of the article is here