Dec. 20 - Japan's robot astronaut Kirobo and human colleague, astronaut Koichi Wakata, chat in space for the first time from the International Space Station. Gavino Garay reports.
Naughty or nice, every kid wants to ask Santa for a Christmas present. Now, robots too. Japan's first robot astronaut met human astronaut Koichi Wakata at the International Space Station, and had a special request: (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPANESE ASTRONAUT, KOICHI WAKATA, SAYING: "Do you have anything to ask Santa for Christmas?" (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) ROBOT ASTRONAUT, "KIROBO", SAYING: "A toy rocket!" (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPANESE ASTRONAUT, KOICHI WAKATA SAYING: "Then let's ask Santa" He was developed by Japanese developer Takahashi and is seen as a blueprint for future human-robot co-existence. (SOUND BITE) (Japanese) CEO OF "ROBO GARAGE" AND ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF RESEARCH CENTER FOR ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY AND SCIENCE, THE UNIVERSITY OF TOKYO, TOMOTAKA TAKAHASHI, SAYING: "These types of robots may play an active role in space. For instance, they can convey the directions to the astronauts from earth, and they can think by themselves to support the astronauts' living activities and work." With or without toy rocket, what you could call Japan's first 'robonaut' is due to return to earth in December 2014.