Footage released on Thursday shows the first humanoid robot in spacemaking small talk with the commander of the International Space Centre, Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata.
The conversations are part of a series of experiments aimed at testing the robot’s autonomous conversation functions.
Instead of voicing pre-programmed phrases that respond solely to specific questions, the robot, who is called Kirobo, is programmed so that it can process the question being asked – and in turn select its own words from its vocabulary to construct an answer. Despite there being awkward pauses, the conversation was coherent.
In one of the first experiments, Captain Wakata told Kirobo he was glad to meet his robotic companion, and asked Kirobo how he felt about being in a zero-gravity environment.
“I’m used to it now, no problem at all”, Kirobo replied.
The experiments in space with Kirobo will continue until it returns to Earth at the end of 2014.
In the meantime, the robot has asked Santa for a toy rocket this Christmas.
Source: The Telegraph