The little robot arrived safely aboard the ISS. Image Credit: Toyota/YouTube
Japan's wide-eyed Kirobo android has become the first robot to ever speak from outer space.
The miniature astronaut's launch in to the final frontier was met with rapturous applause as well-wishers across Japan gathered to show their support. Now aboard the International Space Station, Kirobo's debut has been marked by a special broadcast as it spoke its first words in space.
"On August 21, 2013, a robot took one small step toward a brighter future for all," it said in Japanese. "Good morning to everyone on Earth. This is Kirobo. I am the world's first talking robot astronaut. Nice to meet you."
Measuring 34cm in height, Kirobo's construction was made possible through a combined effort involving the University of Tokyo, Toyota, Robo Garage and advertising firm Dentsu.
Its task on-board the space station will be to record the conversations with Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata as part of a study to see if robotic companions can offer emotional support to people who are isolated for long periods of time.