A talking humanoid robot has blasted off on board the unmanned Konotori 4 space cargo transporter.
The unique robot is designed as an experimental social companion to astronaut Koichi Wakata who is already aboard the International Space Station. Known as Kiribo, the 34cm tall robot is capable of communicating in Japanese, recording conversations, relaying messages from mission control and is able to exhibit a wide range of physical motions.
Kiribo's primary goal is to see how a robotic companion can provide emotional support to astronauts during a long mission in space. A precursor to the Artificial Intelligence HAL in "2001: A Space Odyssey", research of this kind could one day provide astronauts with a fully responsive robotic assistant that can perform tasks, record information and offer social companionship.
"The first talking humanoid robot, Kirobo, has taken off from a Japanese space centre for the International Space Station."
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Source: Sky News
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