Robot Will Be Astronaut's Friend: In space, no can hear your loneliness. If you're an astronaut on a long mission in cramped quarters with your only link to humanity being a headset, you can feel a little isolated. To alleviate this problem, Tokyo University researchers and robot creator Tomotaka Takahashi are developing a tiny humanoid robot that will serve as a companion for International Space Station commander Koichi Wakata, due to embark on a six-month mission. The 13-inch-tall Kibo Robot will live and work with Wakata and be able to recognize his face and communicate with him in Japanese. It will also take photos and send information to Earth-based scientists.
The Kibo Robot will launch in the summer of 2013 and although the robot hasn't been given a name yet, researchers have asked the public to contribute. You can send your ideas by visiting the website and clicking on "Join Us."