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All About CAD, CAM, and CAE

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Kirobo - Japans First Robot Astronaut

Kirobo is Japan's first robot astronaut, developed by University of Tokyo and Tomotaka Takahashi, to accompany Koichi Wakata, the first Japanese commander of the International Space Station.

Kirobo was developed by a collaborative effort between Dentsu, the University of Tokyo's Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, Robo Garage, Toyota, and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency). The University of Tokyo and Robo Garage worked on the robot hardware and motion generation, Toyota created the voice recognition function and Dentsu created the conversation content and managed the project. Kirobo is approximately 34 cm (13 in) tall, 18 cm (7.1 in) wide and 15 cm (5.9 in) deep. It weighs about 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) and speaks Japanese.

Toyota is teaming up with Japan's space program to send Kirobo to space. The robot astronaut is built with Toyota's latest voice-recognition software to test future applications for robot-human interaction.

Kirobo has two light and two touch sensors and is programmed using IconWorks, a specialized software developed for the purpose. Programming apparently requires users to just arrange icons on a PC screen as desired and transfer the program to Kirobo through a transfer cable. The robot will then perform the actions required.

The Elekit Kirobo robot can trace a line, negotiate around obstacles or follow a light, among other things.

The CPU comes in a box that has several slots so users can create their own robot shell.

This Kirobo uses a RISC (reduced instruction set computing)-type PIC16F88 CPU with flash memory. It has DC motors, and runs for about six hours on four AA batteries. The device weighs about 8 oz. excluding the batteries.




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