As the US prepares to send NASA's humanoid Robonaut2
up to the International Space Station in September, Japan's private SOHLA (Space Oriented Higashiosaka Leading Association) is gearing up to send its own two-legged robot to the moon by 2015. The $10.5 million robot named "Maido-kun" is being developed in coordination with the Space Exploration Agency of Japan (JAXA), an organization that has been trying to send robots to the moon since at least 2006
. Oh sure, there's little reason to send a wobbling two-legged robotic rover to the crater-pocked face of the moon when four-on-the-floor would be much more practical -- other than it's awesome.