Kibo, the Japanese communication robot that will eventually join up with the rest of the crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS) later this summer, will also need to suit up and undergo some sort of “training”, if you will, just like any other astronaut worth their salt. Having said that, Kibo underwent some zero gravity testing of its own recently, which is part of the Kibo Robot Project that was organized by Dentsu Inc. after responding in kind to a proposal put forward by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
Kibo’s final design was also unveiled, where it received most of its design inspiration from a commercially-available kit known as Robi, standing approximately 13.4 inches in height, while tipping the scales over at 2.2 pounds. Toyota, a company that most of us would have associated with cars, has contributed natural language processing technology so that Kibo can understand Japanese speech. It will respond accordingly via a synthesized voice, and will boast of a camera which gives it facial recognition capability.