Japanese auto giant Toyota Motor engineer Fuminori Kataoka chats with humanoid robot Kirobo in Tokyo on June 26, 2013. A small humanoid robot Kirobo which can talk will be sent into space to provide conversational company for a Japanese astronaut in the international space station on a six-month mission from this August.
Japanese auto giant Toyota Motor engineer Fuminori Kataoka chats with humanoid robot Kirobo in Tokyo on June 26, 2013. A small humanoid robot Kirobo which can talk will be sent into space to provide conversational company for a Japanese astronaut in the international space station on a six-month mission from this August. - 
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This final note: You can look forward to the first conversation between a human and a robot in space.

That's right. It's happening. This fall, a "humanoid communication robot" called Kirobo will travel to the International Space Station.

He, or she, or it, is about a foot tall. Kirobo "speaks" Japanese. Its mission is to keep astronauts company.

It can get lonely out there.

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Follow David Gura at @davidgura