Japan robot chats with astronaut on space station

Dec 20 2013, 1:02am CST | by

First humanoid robot in space talks with astronaut, says zero gravity is 'no problem at all'

TOKYO (AP) — The first humanoid robot in space made small talk with a Japanese astronaut and said it had no problem with zero-gravity on the International Space Station.

Footage released by the robot's developers on Friday showed Kirobo performing its first mission on the station, talking in Japanese with astronaut Koichi Wakata as part of an experiment testing Kirobo's autonomous conversation functions.

Wakata says he's glad to meet Kirobo, and asks the robotic companion how it feels about being in a zero-gravity environment.

"I'm used to it now, no problem at all," Kirobo quips.

Kirobo is programmed to process questions and select words from its vocabulary to construct an answer, instead of giving pre-programmed responses to specific questions.

The creator of the robot, Tomotaka Takahashi, said the autonomous functions meant nobody knew how well Kirobo would be able to answer Wakata's questions.

Though Kirobo had some awkward pauses and Wakata spoke more slowly than usual at times in their chat earlier this month, Takahashi said conversations smoothed out over time.

"Through layers of communication, we were able to observe the initial stages of a relationship begin to develop between a human and a robot, and I think that was our biggest success" he said.

Kirobo took off from Japan's Tanegashima Space Center for the International Space Station this summer aboard a space cargo transporter. Wakata arrived in November and will assume command of the station in March.

The project is a joint endeavor between advertising company Dentsu, automaker Toyota, and Takahashi at the University of Tokyo's Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology.

Experiments with Kirobo will continue until it returns to Earth at the end of 2014.

In the meantime, Kirobo says he wants to ask Santa for a toy rocket this Christmas.

Source: AP Business

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Associated Press</a>
The Associated Press (AP) is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

First Week of GRMN June 21st Options Trading
Investors in Garmin Ltd. (NASD: GRMN) saw new options become available this week, for the June 21st expiration. At Stock Options Channel, our YieldBoost formula has looked up and down the GRMN options chain for the new...
 
 
First Week of CHTR December 20th Options Trading
Investors in Charter Communications Inc (NASD: CHTR) saw new options begin trading this week, for the December 20th expiration. One of the key data points that goes into the price an option buyer is willing to pay, is...
 
 
First Week of December 20th Options Trading For Viacom (VIAB)
Investors in Viacom Inc (NASD: VIAB) saw new options begin trading this week, for the December 20th expiration. One of the key data points that goes into the price an option buyer is willing to pay, is the time value,...
 
 
First Week of LINTA June 21st Options Trading
Investors in Liberty Interactive Corp – Interactive Com Ser A (NASD: LINTA) saw new options begin trading this week, for the June 21st expiration. At Stock Options Channel, our YieldBoost formula has looked up and down...
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

First Week of GRMN June 21st Options Trading
Investors in Garmin Ltd. (NASD: GRMN) saw new options become available this week, for the June 21st expiration. At Stock Options Channel, our YieldBoost formula has looked up and down the GRMN options chain for the new...
Read more on Business Balla
 
First Week of CHTR December 20th Options Trading
Investors in Charter Communications Inc (NASD: CHTR) saw new options begin trading this week, for the December 20th expiration. One of the key data points that goes into the price an option buyer is willing to pay, is...
Read more on Business Balla
 
First Week of December 20th Options Trading For Viacom (VIAB)
Investors in Viacom Inc (NASD: VIAB) saw new options begin trading this week, for the December 20th expiration. One of the key data points that goes into the price an option buyer is willing to pay, is the time value,...
Read more on Business Balla
 
First Week of LINTA June 21st Options Trading
Investors in Liberty Interactive Corp – Interactive Com Ser A (NASD: LINTA) saw new options begin trading this week, for the June 21st expiration. At Stock Options Channel, our YieldBoost formula has looked up and down...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Could DueDil's Latest API Update Make CRM Systems More Reliable?
The leading British CRM startup, DueDil has released the third update to their API in 12 months, which includes a brand new advanced search capability designed to take the hassle and time out of maintaining the existing...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Should I Gift Money To My Children Now Or Later?
Your financial legacy is a reward for a lifetime of hard work and financial success. Many affluent Americans want to give their children money, but aren’t sure about whether to make a living gift or leave money in their...
Read more on Business Balla
 
First Week of ARCP June 21st Options Trading
Investors in American Realty Capital Properties Inc (NASD: ARCP) saw new options become available this week, for the June 21st expiration. At Stock Options Channel, our YieldBoost formula has looked up and down the ARCP...
Read more on Business Balla
 
International Game Technology is Oversold
The DividendRank formula at Dividend Channel ranks a coverage universe of thousands of dividend stocks, according to a proprietary formula designed to identify those stocks that combine two important characteristics —...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Social Security At Age 62? Why Delaying Your Benefits May Not Pay Off
The following is a guest post by Scott T. Hanson, CFP, a financial advisor with Hanson McClain Advisors in Sacramento, Calif.  What if I told you to start take your social security benefits as early as possible? That...
Read more on Business Balla
 
New Home Sales Drop 14.5% In March, Underlining A Slowing Housing Market
Sales of newly-constructed homes fell by 14.5% in March, a significant drop underscoring that the housing market is indeed slowing down. New single-family homes sold at an annual pace of 384,000 (seasonally adjusted)...
Read more on Business Balla
 
 
Auto Balla Sexy Balla Sport Balla TV Balla Politics Balla Movie Balla Apple Balla Business Balla Ad Balla Celebrity Balla