Kirobo, the first Japanese astronaut robot, returned well to Terra

Kirobo, the first Japanese astronaut robot, returned well to Terra after spending 18 months in space on board the International Space Station (ISS), informs

Kirobo returned to Terra aboard the spacecraft Dragon Capsule, built by SpaceX, which was well-off on Tuesday in the Pacific Ocean.

Kirobo, a "humanoid protocol robot," whose design reminds of Astro Boy character, arrived on board the ISS in August 2013 and participated in various scientific experiments aimed at including a company robot in space missions involving prolonged isolation situations for astronauts.

The robot, who initially had to return to Terra at the end of 2014, had goodbye to the internet with a video message published in September 2014.

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Kirobo was built to be able to hold a conversation in a natural manner, according to its creator, Tomotaka Takahashi, a robotic expert who has collaborated on this scientific project with Tokyo University, Dentsu advertising company and Toyota automobile builder.

The little humanoid robot accompanied the Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata in the Japanese module on the ISS, and the daily life spent on the Earth's orbit by the two "friends" was followed with a great interest on the internet by Japanese schoolboys.

The look of the robot was inspired by Astro Boy, a manga character (Japanese comics, n.r.), pictured after the Second World War by the designer and illustrator Osamu Tezuka. Although it is very small (it is 34 centimeters high) and light (weighing about one kilogram), Kirobo knows how to go, recognize faces and record images.

His mirror, baptized Mirata, remained on Earth for use as a model of comparison if the researchers noticed the appearance of an anomaly that could have affected Kirobo's operation.

The objective of the Kirobo project ("Kibo" contraction, the name of the Japanese laboratory on the ISS and the "robot") consisted mainly in studying the extent to which a company robot can provide moral support to people who live isolated on for a long time. At the same time, in Japanese, "Kibo" also means "hope".

ISS is a $ 100 billion space project, funded mainly by the United States, and which involves 16 countries. The station is permanently occupied, since November 2000, by joint crews.

The ISS is in terrestrial orbit at an altitude of 400 kilometers, making a complete rotation around the Earth every 90 minutes, navigating at an average speed of 28,000 kilometers / hour. Weighing over 408 tons, the ISS offers a living space equivalent to that of a Boeing 747.

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