HEARBO Robot Boasts Perfect Hearing (+VIDEO)
HEARBO is a HEARing robot designed by researchers led by Kazuhiro Nakadai at Honda Research Institute-Japan (HRI-JP). In an attempt to improve the way robots process and understand sounds, the team created a robot that can analyze four sounds (including voices) at once, and can distinguish where the sounds are coming from. The deployed HARK (HRI-JP Audition for Robots with Kyoto University) system makes the audible noise to be processed with eight microphones inside the robot’s head. Kazuhiro Nakadai reports, that “by using HARK, we can record and visualize, in real time, who spoke and from where in a room; we may be able to pick up voices of a specific person in a crowded area, or take minutes of a meeting with information on who spoke what by evolving this technology.” There were some experiments held: in the first the robot took food orders from four people speaking simultaneously and knew who had ordered what. In another experiment, the robot played a game of rock-paper-scissors with three people; each person said either rock, paper, or scissors at the same time, and the robot could determine who won. The HARK system could allow future robot servants to better understand verbal commands at a several meters distance.