Jul 9, 2013
The Kirobo Project - Blasting Robots Into Space
Toyota is taking the first stride towards sending a robot assistant into space as part of their Kibo Robot (Aka Kirobo) project, an initiative to use technology to break down communication barriers in an increasingly individualistic society. The highly emotive, soon to be robo-astronaut will be headed to the International Space Station on August 4 to hold an experimental conversation with astronaut Koichi Wakata.
Aside from some rather welcome resemblances to Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy in his design, Kirobo will also have an identical robotic terrestrial counterpart called Mirata, jokingly referred to as 'Backup crew member.' The robots are outfitted with proprietary voice recognition, natural language processing, a composite speaking voice, facial recognition sensors, a camera, communications equipment and their processing functions and weigh around 2.2 pounds each and are around 13.4 inches tall, making them perfect candidates for mass production if Toyota chooses to go down that route.