Tokyo on Wednesday was treated to one of the first demonstrations of Kirobo, a talking robot that was jointly developed by the University of Tokyo, Toyota, and Dentsu Inc., and will be heading into outer space later this summer. Named after a combination of the Japanese word kibo, or “hope”, and the word “robot”, the Kirobo project is part of an experiment that will see the first human-robot conversation held in space.
The project’s developers showed off the 34 centimeter (13 inch) tall robot’s talking ability in Tokyo. They also explained that their future hope in creations like Kirobo being able to hold conversations is to help human astronauts while they work in space. The pint-size android is already scheduled to join the August 4th lift-off from the Tanegashima Space Center, located in southwestern Japan’s Kagoshima Prefecture, followed by arrival at the International Space Station (ISS). In order to prepare, the robot has already had to undergo several pre-launch tests, including simulations with zero gravity.
As part of the demonstration, on the robot’s developers asked Kirobo what its dream was, and while it didn’t answer that it wanted to conquer outer space with its cold, metallic fist, it did reply that it “hoped to create a future where humans and robots live together and get along.” Which is just as good. Supposedly.