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article imageNew advance with conversational robots

By Tim Sandle     Aug 3, 2018 in Technology
Is it possible for a robot to truly imitate a human, so that the way the robot communicates becomes indistinguishable from a person? While this idea may be a long-way off, Japanese researchers have taken another important step.
The new research stems from a symbiotic human-robot interaction project from the Japan Science and Technology Agency. This is based around the development of a multimodal conversation control system together with a multi-robot conversation control system. These have been designed to create a robot that possess a much higher degree of human-like presence than any comparable robot today. A secondary aim is to create a robot with a 'sense of conversing'.
This outcome of the project is to design a new generation of conversational robots, starting with a child-like android dubbed 'ibuki'. This android has been fitted wheels, allowing it to move around and thereby interacting with people on a bigger scale. The researchers hope that the conversational robot will be capable of a deeper and richer conversation with people.
 Ibuki  is a child-like android equipped with a moving unit. By acting with the human  having a conv...
"Ibuki" is a child-like android equipped with a moving unit. By acting with the human, having a conversation together and consequently sharing their experience,
ERATO ISHIGURO Symbiotic Human-Robot Interaction Project
The following 'raw footage' video shows ibuki in action:
To make conversations appear 'more realistic', the technologists used novel technologies like the implementation of natural and various types of nodding, which can be played out during robot-to-human. Here the robots analyzes the linguistical nuances of different sentences.
In terms of the robot's movement, ibuki has a pair of eccentricity wheels, which enable horizontal body motion plus a ball screw driven actuator, which permits vertical body motion. These motion devices are designed to simulate the movement of a person's center of gravity position, to help to expresses a human-like movement. A further feature is that the robot has 47 degrees of freedom, which permits the robot to possess different emotional expressions, including gestures and hand signs, plus a host of different facial expressions.
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