A Japanese astronaut has held a conversation with a humanoid robot on board the International Space Station.
When asked by station commander Koichi Wakata how he felt about being in zero gravity, the robot replied: "I'm used to it now, no problem at all".
Kirobo, a small android equipped with artificial intelligence, reached the space station on 10 August aboard a cargo rocket from Earth.
Commander Wakata, Mikhail Tyurin of Russia and NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio joined him there in November.
The ABC reports the chat was part of a longer-term project to see whether a robot can act as a companion for isolated people, particularly to see if it can develop conversational skills.
Kirobo was created jointly by advertising firm Dentsu, the University of Tokyo, Robo Garage and Toyota.
During several minutes of conversation, Kirobo even put in a request for Christmas, telling the astronaut he wanted Santa to deliver him a toy rocket.
"Santa Claus will come to space," Kirobo said as they drifted in zero gravity.
"What will you ask for from Santa Claus, Kirobo?" asked the astronaut.
"I want a toy rocket," Kirobo responded.
"How was it when the rocket launched (in August)?" Wakata asked.
"It was exciting!" Kirobo replied.