First robot astronaut 'lonely' in space
Published 29/08/2014 | 13:01
Scientists in Japan find that Kirobo the first robot astronaut is 'lonely' after his astronaut companion returned to Earth
Being an astronaut can be an overwhelming experience, so Japanese researchers created a robot to see if an artificial friend could help lonely spacemen bear the solitude of the cosmos.
Kirobo, the walking, talking robot was blasted into space in August 2013 to accompany Koichi Wakata, the first Japanese commander of the International Space Station (ISS) for a year.
Scientists have been conducting experiments on Kirobo to test his autonomous conversation functions with Captain Wakata, who returned to Earth in May this year.
Fuminori Kataoka, General Manager at Toyota, who developed the robot, observed: "I think it felt lonely with its companion gone."
Kirobo was recorded saying: "I'm a little tired, so I think I'll rest a while, but I hope you'll look up at the sky sometimes and think of me."