Kirobo the talking robot blasts into space on historic mission

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, University of
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, University of

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 tons 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 and Dentsu Inc – will stay in space until late 2014.

Standing 13 inches tall and weighing about 2.2 pounds, Kirobo is designed to navigate in zero gravity and gets its name from “kibo”, the Japanese word for “hope,” and “robot.”

 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Call of Duty hoaxer blamed for $100K SWAT…

A heavilly-armed SWAT team and an army of police officers stormed a Long Island home fearing a grisly double homicide – only to find it…

National

Minnie Driver tweets naked celebrity snap to 'shut…

Actress Minnie Driver has responded to bitchy critics who sniped about her bikini body by Tweeting a naked picture of herself. The 44-year-old star of…

National

American middle classes no longer world's richest (guess…

America's middle classes are no longer the richest in the world – having been overtaken in the wealth stakes by their Canadian counterparts. For almost…

Local

Judge holds Amber Hellesten for trial on murder…

Amber Hellesten turns 16 next Wednesday, April 30. It could be her first of many birthdays behind bars.

Television

John Turturro tags in for Robert De Niro…

The cast of the courtroom drama miniseries has undergone yet another shift. Following Robert De Niro's exit, the cable network has brought in John Turturro…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 22: 'Glee,' 'Agents…

'Glee' Rachel makes her Broadway debut in "Funny Girl." Remember when she was just a high school drama nerd? FOX, 8PM 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'…

The Word

Lindsay Lohan's big, drunk interview

Lindsay Lohan appears to be completely off the wagon now, if Kode magazine's chronicle of her trip to Coachella is any indication. According to the…

The Word

What we learned from the premiere of 'True…

Does watching someone's marriage implode make for great TV? The show runners at "True Tori" think Tori Spelling's heartbreak is hot stuff indeed.

NHL

Lundqvist, Rangers take control as Flyers falter in…

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist turned away 31 Flyers shots to give the Blueshirts the series edge with a 4-1 victory Tuesday nigh

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.

NBA

Breaking down the Sixers top draft options

With the NBA Playoffs now in full force, there’s only one thing on the mind of Sixers fans at the moment -- the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery.

MLB

Metro one-on-one: Q&A with Phillies centerfielder Ben Revere

Charlie Manuel used to say that the Phillies go as Jimmy Rollins goes. Well, Ryne Sandberg might have a new Phillies catalyst, Ben Revere, in his midst.

Wellbeing

How to burn off all that Easter candy

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but you can't eat chocolate eggs and Jelly Bellys forever.

Food

Powdered alcohol: 5 things to know about 'Palcohol'

What's the deal with powdered alcohol? Here's what you need to know about Palcohol.

Travel

Travel hacks: 6 tips on living out of…

Lynne Martin shares her travel hacks on living out of just two suitcases.

Wellbeing

Tough Mudder pro gives tips on conquering a…

Learn hacks from head designer Nolan Kombol.