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Japan is Launching First Robot into Space

While Russia was the first country to send a human to space, Japan wants to be the first country to send a robot.

Kirobo is the name of a "robot astronaut" that is able to talk to humans. It will be sent into space on August 4 to talk to those at the International Space Station.

"Russia was the first to go to outer space, the U.S. was the first to go to the moon, we want Japan to be the first to send a robot-astronaut to space that can communicate with humans," project manager Yorichika Nishijima said.

The robot name derives from the Japanese word "Kibo," meaning hope, and the word "robot."

Fans submitted 2,452 names for the robot.

The robot is able to process language, facial recognition, and emotion recognition through using a camera. It is also able to speak Japanese.

At 13.4 inches, the robot is pretty small, but needs to be in order to not waste space on the already cramped ISS.

Before the launch, Kirobo has undergone zero gravity tests and passed safety requirements.

Once the robot is in space, it will start talking to veteran Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata. It will stay in space until December 2014.

Sources: Inquisitr


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