A kit to gradually assemble an artificial intelligence robot based on Astro Boy, an iconic work by the late manga artist Osamu Tezuka, will be put on sale, Kodansha Ltd. and other firms announced.

Parts needed to build the 44-cm robot will be available in a weekly magazine to be published from April by Kodansha, the publisher and its partner technology firms said on Wednesday.

The AI-equipped humanoid robot, which can recognize people's faces and chat, can be assembled with 70 issues of the magazine, with a total expense of around ¥180,000 (around $1,600).

"This is a dream-like project, connecting fantasy and science," said Makoto Tezuka, the son of the manga writer and a director at Tezuka Productions.

The project, launched by Kodansha, Tezuka Productions, NTT Docomo Inc., Fuji Soft Inc. and Vaio Corp., commemorates the 90th anniversary of Tezuka's birth in 1928.