Destination international space station for toyota robot

  • First-ever human-robot conversation experiment to be conducted in space

  • Robot astronaut Kirobo scheduled for launch on August 4

  • JAXA Astronaut Koichi Wakata to converse with Kirobo in December

  • Toyota brings company's latest voice-recognition software to Kibo Robot Project

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) today announced the launch date of its jointly developed robot astronaut to the International Space Station (ISS). Kirobo is set to blast off from Tanegashima Space Centre on-board the Kounotori 4 cargo spacecraft on August 4, 2013.

Kirobo is one of two humanoid verbal-communication robots developed under the Kibo Robot Project, a joint research project carried out by University of Tokyo's Research Centre for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST), Robo Garage Co., Ltd., and TMC. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) also provided extensive assistance.

RCAST and Robo Garage worked on the development of the robot's hardware and Kirobo's mechanical movements, TMC contributed with the company's latest voice-recognition software, while Dentsu Inc. created the conversation content as well as management of the project.

The Kounotori transfer vehicle will be launched on the Japanese H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 4 (H-IIB F4) on August 4, 2013. Kirobo will disembark at the ISS and wait for the arrival of Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, scheduled to arrive on Expedition 38 between November and December. Astronaut Wakata will become the first Japanese commander of the ISS in 2014 when he assumes command during the continuing Expedition 39.

In the Kibo Japanese experiment module, Commander Wakata and Kirobo will take part in the first-ever conversation experiment held between humans and robots in space.

Project Timeline (planned)

Aug 4, 2013

Robot astronaut Kirobo leaves for the ISS

Aug-Sep, 2013

Kirobo speaks for the first time in space

Nov-Dec, 2013

Commander Wakata arrives at the ISS

Dec, 2013

Commander Wakata and Kirobo have their first conversation

May-Jun, 2014

Commander Wakata leaves the ISS

Dec, 2014

Kirobo returns to Earth