Mission Accomplished: Robot Astronaut Kirobo Returns to Earth
Kirobo, a tiny talking robot, has made history for robotkind.
After an impressive 18 months on board the International Space Station, humanoid communication robot Kirobo returned to Earth as a passenger on SpaceX’s CRS-5 Dragon cargo supply spacecraft, which successfully splashed down in the Pacific Ocean earlier yesterday.
Standing only 34 centimeters tall and weighing around a kilogram, Kirobo might seem an unlikely candidate for a marathon spaceflight. To the founding partners of the Kibo Robot Project, however, boldly sending a pint-sized android astronaut into space is an important first step toward understanding how humans and robots might interact in space in the future. The project is the result of collaboration between: