WT-6 Waseda Talking Robot Head From Neuromancer
WT-6, in the Waseda Talker series of robots, is a robotic talking head described by its creators as an "anthropomorphic talking robot" because it creates speech with a set of articulators that duplicate the mechanical elements of human speech-making.
(WT-7 anthropomorphic talking robot)
The WT-6 anthropomorphic talking robot is the creation of Atsuo Takanishi and his Ph.D. student Kotaro Fukui at Waseda University in Tokyo. Takanishi and his group used mechanical actuators and a variety of materials to re-create the entire human vocal system. The vocal cavity, tongue, vocal chords, lips, teeth, soft palate and lungs were modeled from soft plastics and polymers.
(Waseda Talking robot articulators [earlier WT-5 version])
The robotic vocal chords are described this way for WT-5, the immediate predecessor to the current model:
Unlike a musical reed which has been used in conventional mechanical speech synthesizer, the vocal cord model is formed to mimic the human's vocal cord in the shape and the biological structure. It is made of a thermoplastic rubber, Septonh (Kuraray Co. Ltd.) of which the elasticity like a human's, and has 3-DOF mechanisms which is similar to the human structure. 1-DOF link mechanism could change the pitch by stretching the length of the vocal cords.
According to listeners, the result is "clear, natural speech" - in Japanese, of course.
In his 1984 novel Neuromancer, science fiction writer William Gibson wrote about an elaborate mechanical talking head that served as an output terminal:
…a head, an intricately worked bust, cloisonné over platinum, studded with seed pearls and lapis. ..The thing was a computer terminal…it could talk. And not in a synth-voice, but with a beautiful arrangement of gears and miniature organ pipes. It was a baroque thing for anyone to have constructed...
(Read more about about William Gibson's talking head)
Take a look at these robots that also imitate life:
Found this one here with more information at the
Waseda-Talker Robot Series page and this abstract.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/23/2006)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )
Related News Stories -
Robot Surgeons No Better Than Humans
"Take care, sir. (2-1B medical droid)" - George Lucas, 1980.
K5 Autonomous Data Machine The Future Of Mall Security
''Halt!' A robot guard appeared…'- Philip K. Dick, 1955.
Aldebaran Robot Talks Like C3PO - Almost
That's a lot of languages - but there's room in our imagination for more.
WildCat Runs Faster Than You, Untethered
'...moving with such drifting ease that it was like a single solid cloud of black-grey smoke blown at him in silence.' Ray Bradbury, 1953.
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.
CUPID Intercept Drone Like Niven's Copseye
'Copseyes floated overhead... each a sonic stunner... they were there to enforce the law...'
DIY Taser-Proof Clothing
'His suit-shield sucked in the energy and discharged it...'
Is Privacy Too Expensive?
'It was not a large office, but it was quite spy-proof and quite undetectably so.'
Navy Deploys LaWS First Ship-Borne Laser
When you hear that music, you know you're in for adventure - and predictions of possible technological futures!
Myo Armband Controller Just 149 Bucks
'Actuators touch the tendons in your right wrist...'
Can Gut Bacteria Make You Smarter?
'Vergil had trained the lymphocytes in the past six months to interact as much as possible with each other and with their environment...'
Shimuzu Luna Ring Solar Power Project
'This was really free power... Power carried across millions of miles on Addison's tight-beam principle.'
AllSee Low Power Gesture Recognition
'It saved a lot of muscular expenditure, of course...'
Must Breaking Up Be Hard To Do?
'Whoever was placed inside the apparatus instantaneously experienced all the charms, lures, wiles, winks and witchery of all the fairer sex in the Universe at once.'
PillCam Colon Now Approved By FDA
'You're going to take a picture of my insides?'
RYNO To Heinlein - Your Tumblebug Is Ready!
'It is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel...'
3D Printing Your Winter Reality
'It makes drawings in the air following drawings it scans with photo-cells...'
Roboroach Now Shipping!
'A cable, here, from the controller to the interface plug... wires from that to the brain.'
MeCam Selfie Nano Drone Like Karen Traviss' Bee Cam
'He set his camera to follow him, and it hovered behind him like a large tame bee.'
AeroLife Inhalable Food Powder
'Now shall the brutal murdering of fellow animals and brother vegetables forever stop...'
Harvest-Time On The International Space Station
We will come rejoicing.
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories