Astronaut Wakata speaks with talking robot aboard ISS
Koichi Wakata, the first Japanese national to serve as commander of the International Space Station (ISS), has been given the opportunity to strike up conversations with a talking robot during his mission.
The robot, "Kirobo," a 34-centimeter tall, 1-kilogram humanoid that recognizes speech and "converses" using preprogrammed sentences, was brought aboard the ISS in August via the unmanned resupply vehicle "Konotori." It was developed by the "Kibo Robot Project."
Wakata, 50, spoke in Japanese with Kirobo on Dec. 6 aboard the Japanese research module "Kibo." The robot recognized Wakata's face using its built-in camera and greeted him personally, saying, "Hello, Mr. Wakata."
When Wakata said, "It's nice to meet you, the world's first talking robot astronaut," Kirobo responded, "It's nice to meet you, the first Japanese ISS captain," and the two shook hands.
The conversation can be viewed on the Kibo Robot Project's website.
December 20, 2013(Mainichi Japan)