Toshiba develops lifelike communication android

October 7, 2014
Toshiba develops lifelike communication android

Toshiba Corporation today announced that it has developed a lifelike communication android that can move its arms and hands smoothly and use Japanese sign language. The android is a prototype that the company will continue to develop towards achieving a service robot able to assist people in the fields of welfare and healthcare. The android will be showcased at CEATEC JAPAN 2014, which will be held from October 7 to 11.

The 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 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.

The video will load shortly

Robots are expected to find widespread use in many fields, including welfare, healthcare, manufacturing, agriculture, services and entertainment.

Explore further: Toshiba Clean Room Farm Yokosuka begins vegetable production

Related Stories

Toshiba Clean Room Farm Yokosuka begins vegetable production

September 30, 2014

Toshiba Corporation today announced that it has begun production of vegetables at the Toshiba Clean Room Farm Yokosuka, a plant factory in Yokosuka, Kanagawa prefecture. Shipment of the first crop is scheduled for the end ...

iRobot planning an Android-based robot

May 12, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- iRobot is working on robots that have the brains of an Android tablet. The goal is an Android-based tablet that is able to see the world around it, hear input from humans, respond and think about the next ...

A future full of robots

November 29, 2012

A future where robots are as common as cars – and cheaper – is on the way. This is according to Prof. Hiroshi Ishiguro, named one of the top 100 geniuses alive in the world today, who has devoted himself to creating robots ...

Recommended for you

'Droneboarding' takes off in Latvia

January 22, 2017

Skirted on all sides by snow-clad pine forests, Latvia's remote Lake Ninieris would be the perfect picture of winter tranquility—were it not for the huge drone buzzing like a swarm of angry bees as it zooms above the solid ...

Singapore 2G switchoff highlights digital divide

January 22, 2017

When Singapore pulls the plug on its 2G mobile phone network this year, thousands of people could be stuck without a signal—digital have-nots left behind by the relentless march of technology.

Making AI systems that see the world as humans do

January 19, 2017

A Northwestern University team developed a new computational model that performs at human levels on a standard intelligence test. This work is an important step toward making artificial intelligence systems that see and understand ...

Firms push hydrogen as top green energy source

January 18, 2017

Over a dozen leading European and Asian firms have teamed up to promote the use of hydrogen as a clean fuel and cut the production of harmful gasses that lead to global warming.

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Osiris1
1 / 5 (1) Oct 07, 2014
How long before some one makes her into a 'comforting woman'?
ROBTHEGOB
3 / 5 (2) Oct 08, 2014
I love the Japanese, but they are nuts. This is too spooky.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.