Kirobo, the first robot astronaut in the world that can also talk, has chatted for the first time to Koichi Wakata, the Japanese commander of the International Space Station (ISS).
The pint-sized robot equipped with artificial intelligence and capable of learning how to respond appropriately to humans has even asked for a special present from Santa, telling the astronaut that he would like to get a toy rocket.
“Santa Claus will come to space,” Kirobo told Wakata as they drifted in zero gravity hundreds of kilometers above the Earth.
“What will you ask for from Santa Claus, Kirobo?” asked the Japanese astronaut.
“I want a toy rocket,” Kirobo responded, according to the international press.
The robot was created in order to see if he can provide company for isolated people.
Kirobo and Wakata talked for several minute aboard the ISS, with the robot giving very general opinions.
“How was it when the rocket launched?” Wakata asked the machine.
“It was exciting!” Kirobo replied.
The talking robot stands just 34 centimeters tall and weighs about one kilogram. It is programmed to communicate in Japanese and keep records of its conversations with Wakata.
Wakata (50), who works for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, is the first Japanese astronaut to lead a human space mission.