Kibo Space Robot Is Made to Entertain Bored and Lonely Japanese Astronaut

Saturday, March 2nd 2013. | Robot

Being an astronaut might sound like a lot of fun to you but it’s actually pretty boring than you ever thought. Watching the earth like a small blue pebble floating in the borderless universe is awesome for the first few minutes but after that, you’ll be left with loneliness and boredom. That’s why a Japan-based robot engineer named Tomotaka Takahashi builds a space robot called Kibo. Its main function is to keep the Japanese astronaut entertained when they’re assigned to International Space Station (ISS).


By transmitting various encouraging quotes from the earth, Kibo is expected to distract the astronaut’s mind from disadvantageous stress. The voice is synthesized and its eyes are equipped with a camera to recognize the astronaut’s face. To make it more interactive, Toyota jumped into the project and helped by giving Kibo the natural language processing technology. This makes this tiny space robot capable of understanding and speaking in Japanese.

Kibo Space Robot

Recently, Kibo has undergone a zero gravity test and lucky you, the team decided to document it. You watch hos this cute tiny mech floating on a jet plane on the video below.

Along with Kibo, Takahashi also built Mirata. Both are identical. The only difference is that if Kibo is assigned to accompany a lonely astronaut, Mirata is designed to educate local kids about Japan dipping its toes into the ISS program. Now that’s a proper education for primary school kids! Anyway, both of these cute droids are developed based on Robi, a robotic kit that is available for masses. So, if you want to, you can actually build the same space robot. Of course, you have to beg Toyota to grant the same level of interactivity as Kibo.

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