Neil Armstrong’s famous first words on the moon will forever be taught in history books around the world. Will history be as kind to the first talking robot in space?
You may recall that the University of Tokyo and Toyota sent a robot named Kirobo into space earlier this year to live on the International Space Station. He speaks fluent Japanese and will be stationed on the space station as part of an experiment in human/robot relations. In short, researchers want to know how humans will interact with robots that can talk like us. The research will be used in future long-term space missions that will require advanced AI, but it will also be used on earth where robots will one day communicate with us like any other human.
For now, however, Kirobo will just continue being the most adorable thing ever sent into space. I may even be able to disregard my inherent distrust of robots just this once as I find it impossible to believe that Kirobo could ever be powered by cold, calculating malice.
To learn more about Kirobo and the Kibo Robot Project, check out the project’s official Web site. While you’re there, you can check out the Find Kirobo app that lets you know where the world’s most adorable robot currently is in space.