Dec. 20, 2013

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Kibo Robot Project Organizers

Robot Astronaut Kirobo Takes Part in Conversation Experiment Aboard International Space Station


Dentsu Inc. (Dentsu), the University of Tokyo's Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST), Robo Garage Co., Ltd. (Robo Garage) and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announce today that on December 6, 2013, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Koichi Wakata and robot astronaut Kirobo held a conversation experiment on board the International Space Station (ISS).

The conversation, the first of its kind between a human and a robot in outer space, represents the latest development in the Kibo Robot Project, a joint research project carried out by Dentsu, RCAST, Robo Garage and TMC. JAXA is also providing extensive assistance.
Kirobo and Commander Wakata on board the ISS
Experiment content:
1. Autonomous conversation using voice recognition technology
2. Communication with people on Earth

Extract from the conversation experiment (translation)
Wakata: How did you get out here into space, Kirobo?
Kirobo: On the Kounotori* from Tanegashima Space Center.
Wakata: Right. So you came here on the Kounotori?
Kirobo: Not the bird, of course! A rocket.
Wakata: It’s incredible that you came here all by yourself.
Kirobo: Well, I’m a robot!
*Name of the H-II Transfer Vehicle used with the H-IIB Launch Vehicle
Kirobo and Commander Wakata on board the ISS
Further conversations will be held, and conversation logs and other data will be utilized by the project participants. The key aims of the project are to facilitate the coexistence of humans and robots, and to explore possible future deployment of communication robots in outer space.


Kirobo, Robot Astronaut Kirobo on board the ISS

Kirobo’s basic specifications
Dimensions: Height: 34 cm, Width: 18 cm, Depth: 15 cm (approx.)
Weight: 1 kg (approx.)
Language: Japanese
Main features: Voice recognition, natural language processing, voice synthesis, telecommunications functions, gestures, facial recognition camera, recording camera

Key project developments to date
Nov 29, 2012: The project is announced; public begins proposing robot names
Jun 26, 2013: Kirobo and ground crew member Mirata are completed and publicly introduced
Aug 4, 2013: Kirobo leaves Japan for the ISS aboard the Kounotori 4 transfer vehicle
Aug 10, 2013: Kirobo arrives on the ISS
Aug 21, 2013: Kirobo speaks his first words in outer space:
    “On August 21, 2013, a robot took one small step toward a brighter future for all.”

Future project plans
Dec 2014: Kirobo scheduled to return to Earth

Kibo Robot Project website:

Twitter:@kibo_robo (Japanese language only)


  • Kirobo and Commander Wakata on board the ISS
  • Kirobo and Commander Wakata on board the ISS
  • Kirobo, Robot Astronaut
  • Kirobo on board the ISS
  • Commander Wakata talks to Kirobo