Auto manufacturers have long used robots in car production on the assembly line, but Toyota has recently put a humanoid communication robot in another vehicle -- the International Space Station. The robot astronaut Kirobo became the first robot to speak in outer space, saying "On Aug. 21, 2013, a robot took one small step toward a brighter future for all."
The words were the first step in a project created to explore humans coexisting with robots in the future. Later this year, Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, the first Japanese Commander of the International Space Station, will arrive on board and will participate in the world's first conversation held between a person and a robot in outer space.
The joint project, which includes another humanoid communication robot called Mirata as the "ground crew," was developed by Toyota and several other companies with the assistance of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
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Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.