Japan's Talking Robot Kirobo Speaks First Words Aboard International Space Station [VIDEO]

on September 6, 2013 5:53 PM EDT

kirobo 3
Kirobo spoke its first words aboard the International Space Station recently, becoming the first robot to speak in space. (Photo: Reuters)

Kirobo, the world's first talking robot to head to space, made history when he uttered his first word's aboard the International Space Station recently. Now a new video (below) shows the journey Kirobo has taken so far, from his launch through his first words in space.

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"Good morning to everyone on Earth," the robot said in Japanese on August 21. "This is Kirobo. I am the world's first talking robot astronaut. Nice to meet you." Echoing Neil Armstrong's famous words from the moon's surface, Kirobo also said, "On August 21, 2013, a robot took one small step toward a brighter future for all."

Kirobo is hanging out on the ISS in anticipation of the arrival of Koichi Wakata, a Japanese astronaut who will become the commander of the space station when arrives in November or December. Wakata will be the first Japanese commander of ISS as well as the first person to talk to a robot in space. Kirobo will help with small tasks on the space station, and more importantly will act as a companion to Wakata

"This could be huge for robotics and for space research," Zeus Kerravala of ZK Research told Computerworld. "I would think a connection with anything, including a robot, is better than no connection. I imagine, over time, these will look more and more humanoid. Maybe not to the level of Data in Star Trek, but certainly they'll be able to act as part of a space team."

The 2.2-pound Kirobo is able to recognize voices and faces and can relay information to engineers on the ground. Kirobo was developed by Toyota, the University of Tokyo and Robo Garage.

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