International Current Affairs 2017

Kirobo: World’s first robot astronaut

Screenshot_2Kirobo, the world’s first robot astronaut talks about Christmas in its first chat with the Japanese commander of the International Space Station.

About the world’s first robot astronaut Kirobo

Kirobo is Japan’s first humanoid robot astronaut, developed by Tomotaka Takahashi, to accompany Koichi Wakata, the first Japanese commander of the International Space Station.

Objective: To see how well robots and humans can interact.

A pint-sized android equipped with artificial intelligence and capable of learning how to respond appropriately to humans.

Created jointly by advertising firm Dentsu, the University of Tokyo, robot developer Robo Garage and Toyota.

The robot’s capabilities include voice and speech recognition, natural language processing, speech synthesis and telecommunications, as well as facial recognition and video recording. Kirobo is specially designed to navigate zero-gravity environments and will assist Commander Wakata in various experiments.

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Russia frees former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky

Screenshot_1Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an oil tycoon and political opponent of Vladimir Putin, released from prison after being pardoned by the Russian President. He left for Germany where his mother is being treated for cancer He spent ten years in jail for tax fraud, embezzlements and money laundering.

President Putin signed a decree pardoning his former political opponent on humanitarian grounds.

Who is Mikhail Khodorkovsky?

He is a Russian businessman, an oligarch, a philanthropist, a public figure and an author. He was once Russia’s richest man as head of oil giant Yukos, spent 10 years in custody for tax evasion and theft after funding opposition parties.

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