July 13, 2011 weblog
The moaning mouth bot learns to sing (w/ video)
(PhysOrg.com) -- Some of you may recall the moaning mouth bot. This bot, which is basically a disembodied mouth that first came to the public attention for making a series of moaning noises that were truly worthy of a zombie film, has come back with a new trick. The bot can now sing children's songs. While you may not want to let it sing your babies to sleep at night this is a serious upgrade from the noises that this machine has made in the past.
You can take some small comfort in knowing that this machine has more of a purpose then just giving you your daily dose of creepy, the bot s designed to help people with hearing problems improve their speech and more easily communicate with the world. Thus far, it is the most accurate robot mouth ever made. The robot uses an air pump to simulate the amount of force pushed by human lungs, is outfitted with a set of artificial vocal chords, a nasal cavity and a resonance tube, all of which are designed to act the way that a human body would.
The system is also designed to correct itself. When a microphone is attached to the sound analyzer it can use a built-in learning algorithm to correct its own errors and sound more like a human speaker. The song, which the robot sang at Robotech 2011, was "Kagome Kagome," a song popular with Japanese children. This is, of course, only a prototype and no word has been given yet on when it will be available or at what cost.
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