Some time ago, I wrote about Kirobo, the robot companion that accompanied astronaut Kochi Wakata to the International Space Station in November of last year.
The Kirobo-Wakata relationship was an experiment in assessing smart robotic technology’s effectiveness in keeping a human company on the lonely watches of space travel. Now, after some six months in space, Wakata is returning to earth but leaving Kirobo behind in space.
Here’s a poignant video of Wakata’s farewell to Kirobo:
In the video, the emotional content is great, if only projected from us humans, and I love Kirobo’s pragmatism (tact? naiveté?) in understanding he’s being left behind because of an available space issue. No apparent abandonment issues at all!
Fascinating stuff, and perhaps a glimpse of the future. For additional information, videos and more, visit the Kirobo site here.