Tokyo: In a world first, Japan is set to send a talking robot-astronaut to the
International Space Station to conduct the first conversation between a human and a robot in outer space.
Kirobo, the robot astronaut, is scheduled to be launched from the Tanegashima Space Center, located in southwestern Japan`s Kagoshima Prefecture, aboard the Kounotori 4 cargo spacecraft to ISS on August 4.
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 `Japan Daily Press` reported.
Kirobo is about 34 centimetres tall and weighs about one kilogramme, which makes it smaller than most robots that go into space.
The robot has already undergone several pre-launch tests, including simulations with zero gravity, the report said.
During one of the first demonstrations, the robot`s developers asked Kirobo what its dream was. It replied that it "hoped to create a future where humans and robots live together and get along."
Kirobo, the talking robot, was jointly developed by the University of Tokyo, Toyota, and Dentsu Inc.