Editorial Feature

Kirobo Robot Communicates from Space

The moon is our closest natural satellite in the solar system.  Since man first walked on the moon in 1969, there has been a significant amount of research development to redesign spacecrafts that are automated and intuitive enough to communicate information about outer space – KiroboTM has become one such example of the world’s first android robot to speak in outer space.

A group of companies including Toyota Motor Corporation, Dentsu Inc. and Robo Garage Corporation, a dedicated research team at the University of Tokyo’s Centre for Advanced Science and Technology, and a team at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency have all helped build KiroboTM.

The team of experts behind this project waved goodbye to KiroboTM on August 4th this year to await its arrival with the ISS less than a week later where KiroboTM became the world’s first robot to communicate with astronaut Koichi Wakata.

World First: Kirobo Robot Astronaut Speaks in Space

Meet KiroboTM – World’s first robot to talk in space. Video courtesy of Toyota Europe

KiroboTM is 34 cm in height, weighs approximately 1,000 g, and its spoken language is Japanese. KiroboTM has been designed to communicate using voice recognition, natural language processing, fitted with a voice speaking device, facial recognition camera and a separate camera for recording input data. Though not completely refined, Kirobo is still in the process of further development.

The intricate process of making this project work is understanding how a robot will operate in orbit where there is no gravity. KiroboTM was tested in a low-gravity controlled environment on Earth.  During this experiment the robot did not display a change in how it floats when exposed to slow or fast movements.

The team of researchers were also conscious that voice should not be the only important tool of communication for this robot and this is why the use of body and hand gestures were incorporated into the development of Kirobo.

Additional tests that also became fundamental to the making Kirobo a robotic astronaut included an electromagnetic compatibility test, software integration, an excitation force test, off gas test, a thermal analysis test, vibration test, and an acoustic experiment to ensure Kirobo can communicate with astronaut Wakata without being affected by sound generated by equipment on the ISS.

Kirobo is currently scheduled to stay at the ISS for a year and a half to help conduct experiments with astronaut Koichi Wakata.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the author expressed in their private capacity and do not necessarily represent the views of AZoM.com Limited T/A AZoNetwork the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and conditions of use of this website.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Kaur, Kalwinder. (2019, November 01). Kirobo Robot Communicates from Space. AZoRobotics. Retrieved on May 25, 2024 from https://www.azorobotics.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=153.

  • MLA

    Kaur, Kalwinder. "Kirobo Robot Communicates from Space". AZoRobotics. 25 May 2024. <https://www.azorobotics.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=153>.

  • Chicago

    Kaur, Kalwinder. "Kirobo Robot Communicates from Space". AZoRobotics. https://www.azorobotics.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=153. (accessed May 25, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Kaur, Kalwinder. 2019. Kirobo Robot Communicates from Space. AZoRobotics, viewed 25 May 2024, https://www.azorobotics.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=153.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this article?

Leave your feedback
Your comment type

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.