Apr 062015

Believe it or not, Toyota recently developed a miniature robotic astronaut to gather data on the International Space Station (ISS). Kirobo, a robot designed to perfect human speech, was used to explore human/robot interaction in space. This new invention revolutionizes speech recognition software in all industries.

According to Toyota, the Kirobo robot was actually developed about two years ago when it was launched into space. Returning on March 12, the Toyota robot astronaut held the world’s first conversation experiment in outer space between a robot and human. The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) teamed with Toyota to help make the experiment possible.

“Kirobo came safely back to Earth aboard SpaceX’s CRS-5 Dragon cargo supply spacecraft, and then arrived back in Japan on March 12,” said Toyota’s robotics team. “His first words after returning home were: ‘From up above, the Earth glowed like a blue LED.’”

The extraordinary little robot earned its spot in the history books, especially after receiving recognition from Guinness World Records. It broke two records: first, it was the first companion robot in space, and secondly, it had the highest altitude conversation for a robot. Although Toyota hasn’t said if it will use this unique technology in any of its cars, we’ve got our fingers crossed.