A 13.4-inch humanoid robot named Kirobo will soon travel to the International Space Station. The mission: to participate in the first robot-human conversation experiments in space.

To prepare for the trip, the robot participated in zero-gravity and other safety tests. The training, Kirobo says, was tough.

Kirobo is one of two robots developed under the Kibo Robot Project, a collaborative research effort by various agencies. Toyota Motor Corporation provided the voice-recognition software for the robots and plans to use what it learns from the project to improve the company’s partner robots and interactive conversation technology.

And perhaps the trip will help fulfill Kirobo’s dream, “to create a world where humans and robots can live together.”

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