Moaning Rubber Robot Mouth Simulates Human Voices, Fuels Our Human Nightmares
2010 04 22

By Denise Ngo | PopSci.com

Don’t be too thrown off by the creepy sounds this robot elicits, as it may actually help hearing-impaired people improve their speech articulation


Over the weekend, video of a horrifying robot struggling to sound out vowels was passed around the web with little explanation other than, "This is creepy." Which it certainly is, but, after digging around for information, we found that despite the robot’s nightmarish appearance and voice, its inventors actually intended the babbling for serious business--namely, for helping hearing-impaired people improve their speech articulation.
To enable the robot’s speaking abilities, engineers at Japan’s Kagawa University used an air pump, artificial vocal chords, a resonance tube, a nasal cavity, and a microphone attached to a sound analyzer as substitutes for human vocal organs. The robot not only talks, but it uses a learning algorithm to mimic the sounds of human speech. By inputting the voices of both hearing-impaired and non-hearing-impaired people into the microphone, researchers were able to plot the differences in sound on a map. During speech training, the robot "listens" to the subjects talk while comparing their pronunciation to that of subjects who are not hearing-impaired. The robot then generates a personalized visualization that allows subjects to adjust their pronunciation according to the target points on the speech map.
While the researcher’s findings were published in 2008, the robot has come a long way, as it appears that early prototypes lacked lips and a human-looking nose. Check out the video below for a demonstration on the robot’s speaking abilities. We are not responsible for any night terrors that may result:


Video from: YouTube.com

It’s also worth noting that the original source mentions that the robot can sing as well as speak. Now if only the kind folks at Kagawa University would release that video already.

Article from: PopSci.com



Related Articles
Wearable Robot lets you carry friends on your back
A robot that lets web users feel physical contact
Innovative New Robot Smiles When You Smile
Robot Journalist Takes Pictures, Asks Questions, Publishes Online
Artificial intelligence: The robots are coming but are we ready for them?
Roxxxy the sex robot makes her world debut
Man controlled robotic hand with thoughts


Latest News from our Front Page

The Ebola hoax: questions, answers, and the false belief in the “One It”
2014 10 23
“The Reality Manufacturing Company doesn’t just sell ‘fake paintings’ that are easy to spot. No. They also sell images that are geared to mesh with people’s deeply held instincts and thereby produce rigid false beliefs. People are sure that if they gave up such beliefs, their world would fall apart and blow away in the wind.” ...
New Controversial Theory Suggests "Hobbits" Were Not Human - Who Were These Mysterious Beings?
2014 10 23
The origin of the Hobbit species remains a challenging subject to scientists. The Hobbit’s discovery confirmed the view that the Earth was once populated by many species of human, but new research the Hobbit’s were not human at all! So, who were these mysterious beings? Where did they come from? The idea that our species, Homo sapiens, was the only species of human on ...
Right into enemy hands? ISIS shows off new weapons allegedly airdropped by US (VIDEO)
2014 10 23
Islamic State has published a new video in which a jihadist shows off brand-new American hardware, which was purportedly intended for the Kurds they are fighting in the Syrian border town of Kobani. The undated video, posted by the unofficial IS mouthpiece “a3maq news”, sees a jihadist showing several boxes of munitions with English-language markings, with a parachute spread out on ...
STAGED INFECTION: Has The Ebola ‘Outbreak’ Narrative Fallen Apart?
2014 10 22
Over the past month, the ‘pandemic’ propaganda surrounding the deadly Ebola virus seemed to reach vitriolic levels – raising serious questions about the validity of this current viral outbreak… On Monday of this week, it was reported that 48 people were released and cleared after a 21-day quarantine due to their contact with the now deceased Ebola-stricken patient Thomas Eric ...
6,000-Year-Old Temple with Possible Sacrificial Altars Discovered
2014 10 21
A 6,000-year-old temple holding humanlike figurines and sacrificed animal remains has been discovered within a massive prehistoric settlement in Ukraine. Built before writing was invented, the temple is about 60 by 20 meters (197 by 66 feet) in size. It was a "two-story building made of wood and clay surrounded by a galleried courtyard," the upper floor divided into five ...
More News »