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Japan robot chats with astronaut on space station

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December 20, 2013 12:15 AM EST | AP


TOKYO (AP) — The first humanoid robot in space has performed its first mission at the International Space Station — holding a series of conversations with a Japanese astronaut and keeping him company.

Footage released by its developers showed Kirobo and the commander of the International Space Center, Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, exchanging small talk in Japanese.

In one of the first conversations, Wakata says he's glad to meet Kirobo, and asks the robotic companion how he feels about being in a zero-gravity environment.

Kirobo replies, "I'm used to it now, no problem at all."

The talks are part of an experiment testing the robot's autonomous conversation functions.

Kirobo is programmed to process questions and select words from its vocabulary to construct an answer, instead of giving pre-programmed responses to specific questions.