This is not what you think it is. It’s a talking robot, modeled on the human vocal system. And hey, check it out: it can sing! Kinda.
Wait, you say. Robots can already talk. Hell, even my laptop can talk, and I got it at Walmart.
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Yes, those things can talk, but only using software and speakers. This talking robot from Kagawa University in Japan is designed to reproduce the human voice the same way our bodies do—by pushing air through a series of tubes, and using the “mouth” at one end to adjust the shape of the tubes and therefore the sound that emerges.
The metal box underneath is the air compressor, representing the lungs. It pushes air through the creepy plastic tubes and out through the mouth, which uses robotics to move the “lips” into the same shapes we use to speak.
There’s a tongue inside the mouth too. Yeah.
The weird glistening bulge on the top is more tubes, replicating the human nasal cavity, which has a part to play in the way our voices work too. Don’t ask me why it’s glistening.
In the video above, the robot is giving its rendition of Japanese children’s song Kagome Kagome, which you can hear better here. Obviously the singing lessons are going to have to continue for a while yet.
Nobody say anything about sex toys, OK? Just don’t. This is science.
[via IEEE Automaton]