Talking robot sent to ISS to 'get along' with humans
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A small Japanese robot, Kirobo, that boasts the abilities to talk, recognize voice and emotions, as well as to learn, has been sent to the International Space Station. Kirobo says his mission is a historic attempt to befriend robots and humans. The 34 centimeter (13 inch) android got his name from "kibo" -- Japanese for "hope." Weighing in at just 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds), it was jointly designed by the University of Tokyo, Toyota Motor Corp and Dentsu Inc. to operate even in zero gravity. The most amazing feature of Kirobo is its sophisticated voice-recognition, face-recognition and communication technology, which enables it to engage in a meaningful conversation with a human being. The project designers also take pride in the robot's ability to learn new terms and concepts.