We knew this moment would come. Partly because Toyota told us it would back in July, but also because we've been watching too many sci-fi movies. The moment in question is when a robot would hold a conversation with a human in outer space. Which may not seem that cataclysmic, but we're here to point out that a) this is the first time it has ever happened, and b) it could mark the beginning of the apocalypse, wrought on us by robots from outer space.

The conversation took place on board the International Space Station between Commander Koichi Wakata of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency and Kirobo, a foot-tall robot that encompasses the latest advancements in voice-recognition software achieved by Toyota. We can only (but would rather not) imagine what practical applications this might have in the future, but for now, you can watch the landmark event unfold in the video below.
Show full PR text
Robot Astronaut Has Historic Talk on International Space Station

Watch the Robot Astronaut Kirobo make history as the first robot to have a conversation in space. Kirobo spoke with human Astronaut Wakata on Dec. 6, 2013 at the International Space Station. Kirobo is one of two humanoid robots developed under the Kibo Robot Project, a collaborative research effort.

Robot Astronaut Kirobo and astronaut Koichi Wakata made history when they had a conversation on the International Space Station on Dec. 6, 2013. The conversation was the first of its kind between a human and a robot in outer space.

Kirobo arrived at the space station in early August. The pint-sized robot is equipped with voice-recognition software from Toyota.

To see what they talked about, check out the footage of their chat.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      That little guy is smarter and better mannered than most of my co-workers.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Andrew Pappas
      • 1 Year Ago
      I for one, welcome our tiny plastic overlords.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Japan is among the most advanced nations in robotics and has more robots than anywhere on Earth. Toyota creates a talking robot and sends it to space to have pointless conversations with a Japanese astronaut. Meanwhile, the Fukushima Dai Ichi nuclear reactor is continuously leaking radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean and TEPCO can barely do an adequate job lying about the situation. Men are sent to the area to do what they can, getting exposed to high amounts of radiation. So... why not do R&D on an actually useful robot that can clean up and contain the radiation that's right there in Japan!? Priorities, people!
      • 1 Year Ago
      well that makes the International Space Station the Camry of spacecraft
      Robert Fahey
      • 1 Year Ago
      Besides evoking sci-fi movies, I don't see the significance of the fact that this took place in space. Gravity and oxygen are irrelevant to electronics, right?
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Robert Fahey
        Wrong. A quick Google search of the difficulties of preparing specialized electronics to handle the rigours of space will show you that this is a significant achievement.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Stunturo desu
    Share This Photo X