Remember Professor Tomotaka Takahashi , the creator of Robi, a robot that can communicate and dance?
Who’s Professor Takahashi?
Professor Tomotaka Takahashi is an engineering professor at Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology of Tokyo University. Other than teaching, Takahashi created cute adorable humanoid robots that can do various things such as talking, moving, having personality, climbing ropes and even go to space.
It started when he was about 6 years old and he was reading manga comic Astro Boy. That was when he started to become inspired to build cute sleek robots. That’s why, if you notice, you could see the influence of Astro Boy in his robots (BBC).
He works in his robotics lab at Kyoto University, Robo Garage, which started operating in 2003 (Robo Garage). Aiming to be the ‘Steve Jobs’ of robotics, Professor Takahashi works really hard. He doesn’t even go out for lunch. He would usually stay in his lab and work- drawing, designing, creating, painting and programming. Steve Jobs managed to invent a lifestyle via his gadgets. Professor Takahashi aims to do the same thing with communication robots.
Robi is not the only robot he build that stood in the limelight, Kirobo also once interest the world when he flew to space to interact and assist the astronaut.
On August 2013, Professor Takahashi created Kirobo, under Kibo Robot Project. Kirobo is is a portmanteau of "kibō" (希望), which means "hope" in Japanese, and the word "robo" (ロボ), used as a generic short word for any robot. Professor Takahashi first created Kirobo to be sent to International Space Station to accompany the Japanese astronaut Commander Koichi Wakata. The main purpose of sending robots to outer space is to observe how well can robots interact with men.
You can watch the video of Kirobo having a conversation with the astronaut below. (Warning: Cuteness overload!)
This is the farewell video between Commander Wakata and Kirobo
When Kirobo finished its mission in space, Professor Takahashi collaborated with Toyota to sell Kirobo mini to people at $392. Carrying it’s name as hope, Kirobo’s purpose is to accompany elderly people or lonely children.
Source: Robo Garage
Kirobo comes equipped with cameras, speakers and Bluetooth. It can recognise facial expression and determine their mood. However, it can’t tell individuals apart yet at this point in time (Forbes). You can check out Kirobo website and Youtube channel for more information.
If you are interested, you can sketch a 2D Kirobo and design it using fischer TiPs. After that, you can make a 3D Kirobo. Show us your creations and we can share it on our page.