A small talking robot built in Japan is about to take one giant leap into space.
Kirobo — a humanoid “robot astronaut” that can converse with humans in space and on the ground — is scheduled for launch to the International Space Station on Aug. 4.
Once aboard the orbiting laboratory, Kirobo will take part in the first robot-to-human conversation in space, Kibo Robot Project officials have said.
"Russia was the first to go 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," said Yorichika Nishijima, the Kirobo project manager, as quoted by The Associated Press.
Kirobo’s name comes from a combination of the Japanese word for hope, “kibo,” and the word “robot.” Officials from the project chose the name from the more than 2,452 entries submitted by interested fans of the project. The Japanese module of the space station — called the Kibo laboratory — is also named for “hope.”
LEGO Craftsmanship of the Day: Sony & Lego Team Up for Programmable Lego Bricks!
Your kids’ childhoods will never be the same. At the recent 25th anniversary event for Sony’s Computer Science Laboratories in Japan, Sony announced a partnership with Lego and unveiled their first collaborative project titled “Toy Alive.” As shown in the video, the Danish toymakers’ first remote-controlled platform features several Lego characters that can be controlled with Playstation DualShock controllers, red bricks with built-in LEDs that simulate fire and a webcam that can monitor various objects’ movements in its field of view. But the project is still in the prototype phase, so it’ll be a few years until you can build the high-tech LEGO castle of your dreams.
(Source: Ars Technica)
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