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December 31, 2013

First robotic astronaut in Christmas conversation

Kirobo the Japanese android goes live in space.

By Cbr Rolling Blog

The word’s first robot astronaut had its first conversation over Christmas, a little chat with the Japanese commander of the ISS, Koichi Wakata.

The tiny robot is equipped with AI and is capable of learning how to respond to humans in different conditions. Apparently, Kirobo even asked for a present from Santa.

“Santa Claus will come to space," Kirobo said to Wakata.

“What will you ask for from Santa Claus, Kirobo?" asked the Koichi.

“I want a toy rocket," Kirobo responded, according to the international press.

The main aim of Kirobo is to see if robots can provide sufficient company for people in isolated conditions. The creator of Kirobo, Tomotaka Takahashi, said: "I wish for this robot to function as a mediator between a person and machine, or a person and the Internet, and sometimes even between people."

Takahashi added that the biggest challenge was to make the android compatible with space. Dozens of tests were carried out over nine months to ensure Kirobo’s reliability.

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

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