Toshiba's Lifelike Communication Android

The Toshiba corporation has developed a new android; it can move its arms and hands smoothly and communicate with Japanese sign language. The intent is that the android will be a service unit that can assist people in the fields of welfare and healthcare.


(Toshiba's Lifelike Communication Android)

The android has the appearance of a friendly young woman, an impression accentuated by blinking eyes and a warm smile. At present, the android can mimic only simple movements, such as exchanging greetings and signing in Japanese, but Toshiba will integrate its wide-ranging technologies in areas including sensing, speech synthesis, speech recognition and robotic control to realize a more sophisticated social robot by 2020. The goal is to design a companion for the elderly and people with dementia, to offer telecounseling in natural speech, communicate through sign language and allow healthcare workers or family members to keep an eye on elderly people.

Toshiba developed the android in collaboration with aLab Inc., Osaka University, Shibaura Institute of Technology, and Shonan Institute of Technology. Drawing on technologies and expertise built up through the development of industrial robots, Toshiba created an algorithm to coordinate the movement of 43 actuators in the androidís joints. Shibaura Institute of Technology and Shonan Institute of Technology contributed robot driving and sensor-based motion teaching technologies, and aLab Inc. and Osaka University provided the technologies required to create a body with a human-like resemblance and emulate human expressions. As a result, the upper part of the body has a human appearance and moves fluidly. Toshiba aims to put the android into practical use as a receptionist or as an exhibition attendant within next year.

There is a very specific reference to this idea in science fiction decades ago. The android character Rachael in the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep had the job of spokesperson for the corporation she worked for.

Update: In his 1940 short story Robbie, sf great Isaac Asimov describes a robot that communicates entirely with gestures:

Robbie waited until she had caught her breath and then pulled gently at a lock of hair.
"You want something?" said Gloria, eyes wide in an apparently artless complexity that fooled her huge "nursemaid" not at all. He pulled the curl harder.
"Oh, I know. You want a story." Robbie nodded rapidly.
"Which one?" Robbie made a semi-circle in the air with one finger. The little girl protested, "Again? I've told you Cinderella a million times. Aren't you tired of it? -It's for babies."
Another semi-circle.
"Oh, well," Gloria composed herself, ran over the details of the tale in her mind (together with her own elaborations, of which she had several) and began...

End Update:

Via Toshiba press release.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/7/2014)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Digit V2 Bipedal Robot From Agility Robotics
Oh, and now I suppose someone will develop the robotic porch pirate.

Hail SmartCan! Your Trash Bin Takes Itself Out
'...a waste can twenty feet away stirred into life.' - Harry Harrison, 1959.

Robot Tuna Swims As Fast As Nature's Tuna
'With one fluid motion, it surged forward, plunged, and was gone.' - Michael Swanwick, 2002.

Shapeshifter Robot Is Comprised Of Cobots
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed. For an interval, the device struggled with itself...' - Philip K. Dick, 1957.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Orbital Display's Low Earth Orbit Advertisements
'A vast circle of scarlet stars came up into the greenish desert dusk.'

Neuromorphic Computing Hardare
'He had constructed an organ, a brain, of metal, entirely inorganic and lifeless...'

Vascularized Human Skin 3D Printed
Hey Fishboy!

Trillionaires Still Earth-Bound
'I shall never forget the sight... when the yellow gleam of the precious metal appeared under the star dust.'

Digit V2 Bipedal Robot From Agility Robotics
Oh, and now I suppose someone will develop the robotic porch pirate.

3D Printed Dubai Building Is World's Largest
'This thing will start at one end of ...a house and build it complete to the other end, following drawings only.'

Grow Plants On Moon Or Mars!
'In contrast to the airless desolation outside, the interior of this five-acre greenhouse was the one most desirable place to be.'

California Gets Shockwave Rider-Style Avoidance Zones
'It was cheaper to pay the refugees to go without up-to-the-minute equipment.'

Microbot Interstellar von Neumann Explorers
'Evidently they have never had a planet of their own...'

Hail SmartCan! Your Trash Bin Takes Itself Out
'...a waste can twenty feet away stirred into life.'

Finally! Microsoft Surface Neo And Surface Duo Implement Excellent Courier Idea
'Runcible, whose pages were thicker and more densely packed with computational machinery...'

Tap Strap 2 Now With Air Mouse
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

Legal Profession Now Fairly Bristling With AI
'The virtual counsel appeared to be about forty-five years old and prosperous.'

Entire Planet Modeled In New MS Flight Sim
'CIC uses [it] to keep track of every bit of spatial information that it owns...'

FlyZoo Robot Hotel By Alibaba
'... hotels that specialized in non-human service.'

Implanted Memories Provide Songs To Birds
Finches can't tell the difference.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.