"By bringing a robot into space, the development of a symbiotic robot is expected to move along much faster," Takahashi said.
Though Kirobo is the first robot to talk on the space station, it is not the first robot to "live" and work there.
The space station, which uses several robotic arms to lift bulky cargo and maneuver equipment and spacewalking astronauts outside the station, also is home to Robonaut 2 , which also is known as R2.
Robonaut 2 is a 300-pound robot designed to use its arms and hands to manipulate tools and to perform cleaning and maintenance jobs on the space station. The humanoid robot, which arrived on the space station in 2011, is expected to one day work outside the orbiter so astronauts won't have to make as many dangerous spacewalks.
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