Science & technology
Japan's Hitachi unveils joking robot
Publish Date: May 20, 2014
Japan's Hitachi unveils joking robot
An employee of Japanese electronics giant Hitachi talks with the companys humanoid robot "Emiew 2" (Excellent Mobility and Interactive Existence as Workmate) during a demonstration at the company. AFP/PHOTO
  • mail
  • img
newvision

Japanese scientists unveiled a robot with a sense of humour Tuesday, and claimed it was capable of knowing when its jokes had fallen flat.

The pint-sized roller-skating EMIEW2 -- pronounced like the flightless bird -- is able to have a short conversation with a human being, without being given a script.

The red and white robot picks key words from a sentence -- for example, "how many" -- to try to work out what question it is being asked, then confirms the inquiry before firing back an answer.

Engineers at Hitachi have programmed the android to understand a range of human responses, including non-verbal signals like nods.

It uses this comprehension to determine if its interlocutor has got the "joke" it has just told, said scientists.

At a demonstration in Tokyo on Tuesday, the 80 centimetre- (32 inch-) tall device answered a question on the number of people working at the Hitachi facility with the somewhat surreal: "We have two swans."

When its interlocutor appeared puzzled, the robot let on that it had been joshing.

"You got it? I'm kidding. We have about 800 people working here," it drolly revealed.

Hitachi's Hisashi Ikeda said while the robot's sense of humour may not be very refined at present, the ability to comprehend reactions was an important step forward.

"The new technology makes it possible for a robot to understand what a human means, even if they only gesture," he said.

EMIEW2 -- its name is a rather strained acronym for "excellent mobility and interactive existence as workmate" -- is intended ultimately to provide company in some form, perhaps as a kind of house pet, or even as a receptionist, the company said.



 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Google gets extended deadline to answer EU case
Brussels has given Google an extension until mid-August to answer an anti-trust case alleging that the tech giant abuses its search engine''s market dominance, a company spokesman said Monday....
Russian cosmonaut sets record for most time in space
RUSSIAN cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, who is the current commander of the International Space Station, has set a new record for most time spent in space...
Google gets extended deadline to answer EU case
Brussels has given Google an extension until mid-August to answer an anti-trust case alleging that the tech giant abuses its search engine's market dominance, a company spokesman said...
Facebook opens first Africa office
Facebook announced Monday it had opened its first African office in Johannesburg as part of its efforts "to help people and businesses connect" on the continent....
Apple bets on radio splash in streaming bid
In its bid to become a power in music streaming, Apple is devoting its vast resources to create what it hopes will be a first truly global radio station....
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket explodes after launch
An unmanned SpaceX rocket exploded just minutes after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Sunday, marking a major setback for the fast-charging company headed by Internet tycoon Elon Musk....
With Eddie Kenzo’s win at the BET awards, is Ugandan music being recognized worldwide?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter