Meet Kirobo: Japanese Robot Astronaut Calls Home For First Time From ISS

Category: Technology / Sep 05, 2013 11:09AM EDT

Its name is Kirobo, a Japanese robot aboard the International Space Station, and he just called home for the first time.

Kirobo weighs just one kilogram and stands 34-centimeters high, and the robotic astronaut is currently orbiting 230 miles above earth at over 17,000 miles per hour.

Its first message on the ISS was released on Thursday (September 5) and it said, "On August 21, 2013, robots take their first step towards a shining future."

Researchers said this is the first time a robot has spoken from space.

The cute new addition to the ISS is named Kirobo from the words Kibo, or ‘hope’ in Japanese, and Robot.

Kirobo was sent in an insulated box to the ISS aboard a Japanese cargo transfer vehicle on August 4, 2013.

The robot will conduct experiments in space by taking verbal orders from Japan’s astronaut commander Wakata and by remote-control from earth.

The other astronauts will be out of luck if they try to speak with Kirobo, that is, unless they speak Japanese.

It is scheduled to stay on the ISS for nearly a year and a half. It will return back to earth in December 2014.

Kirobo was developed by Toyota Motor Corporation, Tokyo University, advertising agency, Dentsu and Robo Garage.

Video Credit: Reuters