Robot astronaut Kirobo and backup robot Mirata were created as part of the Kibo Robot Project which is part of a project between Toyota, the University of Tokyo and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency JAXA. They aim to send the robots with the JAXA mission to the ISS on August 4.
The Robot’s sophisticated capabilities include voice recognition, facial recognition, and the ability to communicate in Japanese. They can also move around freely. They are expected to talk with Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, according to the project’s video.
Apparently the plan is to put human-robot interactions to the test. Another is to inspire humans back on Earth by showing how well a robot can talk in difficult circumstances.