Next year, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will send astronaut Koichi Wakata to the International Space Station (ISS)
. That's not all the nation will be sending to the ISS, though -- in February, Japanese roboticists plan to send a 13-inch-tall humanoid robot to the space station.
Equipped with facial recognition technology, the hope is that the no doubt adorable automaton will be useful in helping to carry out experiments on the station, assisting in the mixing of liquids and other simple steps.
It will also, of course, be an excellent mascot for the ISS, because seriously, how are there not robots hanging out up there already? Is it a space station or not?