People will go a long way to set a Guinness World Record. But a robot? Seems robots will go out of this world.
While your neighbors were attempting to gather the most people to throw flip-flops simultaneously, and your Aunt dreamt of joining in the largest line dance, two space robots actually spent a total of eighteen months at the International Space Station and brought back credentials for not one, but two Guinness record titles.
Kirobo, the robot astronaut developed under the KIBO ROBOT PROJECT — a joint research project carried out in collaboration with the University of Tokyo’s Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, ROBO GARAGE Co., Ltd., Toyota Motor Corporation, and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) — was created to be a companion robot in space, and, while interstellar, held the world’s first conversation experiment in outer space between a robot and a human (JAXA astronaut Koichi Wakata) while conducting research for a future in which humans and robots coexist.
Now that Kirobo’s feet are back on solid ground, the robots are still racking up some serious bragging rights.
On February 10, Kirobo came safely back to Earth aboard SpaceX’s CRS-5 Dragon cargo supply spacecraft, which splashed down in the Pacific Ocean off California, and then arrived back in Japan on March 12.
At a debriefing later held at Tokyo’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, Kirobo appeared on stage to chat with the project team members (“From up above, the Earth glowed like a blue LED…”) and humbly accepted two GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS certificates that we’ll bet it didn’t even know it was striving for:
(1) “The first companion robot in space is Kirobo (Japan), which arrived at the International Space Station on 9 August 2013.”
(2) “The highest altitude for a robot to have a conversation is 414.2 km above mean sea level and was achieved by Kirobo (Japan) on the International Space Station on 7 December 2013.”