Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

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 android’s 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 ")

CyberOne Robot By Xiaomi vs. Optimus Robot By Tesla
'I shall introduce myself... I am a robot.' - Isaac Asimov, 1953.

Giving Snakes Their Legs Back
Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to 'help them out.' - Vernor Vinge, 1992.

Video! Chess Robot Breaks Opponent's Finger In Match
'A robot may not injure a human being.' - Isaac Asimov, 1942.

NAVER Labs Haptic Device 2.0 Robot vs. IKEA
'... the two pairs of waldoes in the screen followed in exact, simultaneous parallelism.' - Robert Heinlein, 1942.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

CyberOne Robot By Xiaomi vs. Optimus Robot By Tesla
'I shall introduce myself... I am a robot.'

Giving Snakes Their Legs Back
Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to 'help them out.'

'Ring Nation' Show Predicted By William Gibson In 1999
'... you had your trademark Lucky Dragon Global Interactive Video Column outside.'

SolarXOne Solar-Powered Drone Flies (almost) Forever
'It's an Indian Air Force drone; its solar cells could power an entire farm.'

Video! Chess Robot Breaks Opponent's Finger In Match
'A robot may not injure a human being.'

Virtual Co-Embodyment - Two People Control One Virtual Body
'... we were supposed to be forming five unit composites first."

The Wanderer: Eyebot From Fallout, Eye From Zelazny
'We send our eyes on their appointed rounds, and they can hover or soar or back up...'

Experts Decry Planet-Scale Schemes To Limit Global Heating
'Light from the sun hit those little spheres and bounced.'

OrganEx Revives The Organs In Dead Pig
'Wakened into half-life activity one hour a month...'

NAVER Labs Haptic Device 2.0 Robot vs. IKEA
'... the two pairs of waldoes in the screen followed in exact, simultaneous parallelism.'

Spaceships Should Last So Long
'THE SPACE VESSEL was traveling swiftly… For over five thousand years they had Voyaged on and on.’

Shine On, Portable Wind Turbine
'Sometimes a man has a windmill on his roof...'

Amazing Indoor Robotic Drones Mimic Dolphins and Whales
'They circled the vast audiences, dancing, twittering, chirping...'

Space Station Shutters
'The sun-quilt was a patchwork of colors and materials on the inward side, but silvered on the outward side...'

Tiny Mining - Extract Precious Industrial Minerals From Your Own Body
'Jim, I saw them reduce four of my doctors and nurses into those little cubes!'

MIT Proposes Space Bubbles To Combat Climate Change, Misses The Point Of Space Bubbles
'Fats Jordan was hanging in the center of the Big Glass Balloon, hugging his guitar to his massive black belly above his purple shorts..'

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.