Kirobo is adorable. Often the Japanese robots have these cute bodies on them, especially if they are designed to interact with children. I think the comparison with Atlas is a bit unfair. Atlas is a motion design and testing platform. I'm willing to bet Kirobo wasn't anywhere near as cute when he was being designed in the lab and didnt' have his shell in place.
If you want to see a scary finished robot check out KURATAS (also a japanese bot)
If I were a Japanese astrounat I'd hide so that people would not ridicule me in public. O silly and is this a story for children? Let me see they make a robot that costs 1 million dollars an ounce to fly to space, so that it can coo and sing in Japanese. I am so embarrased.
Isolation is a real problem, and not just in space. I commend the Japanese for not only using this robot for communications between ground and space, but also to know that when people are isolated for months on end, there is potentially a real problem. I used the photo of the children so that you could get a real feeling for how small this thing is. Next time, I'll use a ruler and a quarter.
I'm wondering what is taking so long. At this point, I believed that we would be able to go to a local store and purchase a robot to complete different task around the house. The cost of the robot will be based on the memory required.
I know that we kind of minimize this possibility and place it in the fun category, but I think that the Japanese are onto something especially where the elderly are concerned. I too would like to have one at home and can think of a long to do list for it.
Nice to see the concept doesn't embarrass you. Or, would you buy one that looked more like Atlas? Me? I'd settle for this guy.