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Do 13-inch Androids Dream of Tiny Electric Sheep?

If he hasn't already, Hot Air's Allahpundit would file this link under his patented "Dude" category: "Japanese scientists develop humanoid to keep astronauts company," the London Telegraph reports:

The 13-inch android is scheduled to be completed by next summer and will be sent to the orbiting ISS shortly before astronaut Koichi Wakata arrives, according to officials of the Kibo Robot Project.

Currently being developed by a consortium of companies, including Toyota, Robo Garage Co. and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the robot will weigh around 2.2lbs and be able to recognise Wakata's facial features.

It will then have the ability to communicate with the astronaut in Japanese and take photographs during their stay on the space station.

After Wakata has completed his six-month stay aboard the ISS, the robot will stay behind to send messages to schools in Japan and around the world.

Don't miss the illustration that accompanies the story for the freaky-deaky illustration of the 13-inch robot's appearance. He looks like he'd make a great tiny sidekick for Ultraman or Domo-kun.

Hey, 2012 is almost over -- the clock is rapidly ticking on producing Blade Runner-quality replicants in time to meet the film's 2019 setting. Let's get cracking here, Japan.