Corporate Citizenship

Collaborating on “Robot Astronaut”/Giving KIROBO a “Voice”

Oct. 3, 2013

KIBO ROBOT PROJECTThe “KIBO ROBOT PROJECT” is a joint research project being carried out by Dentsu, Inc., the University of Tokyo, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, Robo Garage Co., Ltd., and Toyota Motor Corporation, in collaboration with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

Robot Astronaut Kirobo will be sent into space and meet with JAXA astronaut Koichi Wakata on the International Space Station (“ISS”). The pair will take part in the world's first “conversation experiment held between a person and a robot in outer space.”

HOYA Service Corporation is collaborating on the project by providing the voice synthesis software VoiceText. This technology will play an important role in the robot-human communication, and will be used as the robot´s voice.

Around 4.48 am on August 4, 2013, the space station cargo ship Kounotori 4 (HTV4) lifted off atop the fourth H-IIB rocket from Japan´s Tanegashima Space Center, with KIROBO onboard. KIROBO´s trip is expected to take six days, after which he will arrive at the International Space Station and stay for about 18 months.

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