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
Apple edges Samsung, retakes smartphone throne
Apple has overtaken Samsung to regain the top position in global smartphone sales in the fourth quarter, a market tracker says....
Google boss meets EU competition regulator
Eric Schmidt, head of US Internet giant Google, has had a first meeting with the EU's new top competition regulator to discuss a long-running probe into the company which could lead to a massive fine...
Emerging world drives cheap smartphone boom
Phone and Internet firms are rolling out cheaper handsets and may turn to hot-air balloons to boost network coverage in developing countries, where sales of smartphones are booming....
Facebook fends off telecom firms
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on Monday fended off complaints that the hugely popular social network was getting a free ride out of telecom operators who host its service on smartphones....
Google backflips on Blogger sexual content ban
Days after announcing a ban on sexually explicit content or "graphic nudity" on its Blogger platform, Google has reversed course....
Spacewalk to go ahead on Sunday despite helmet leak
Two US astronauts will go ahead with a spacewalk this weekend despite a flaw in one of the spacesuits that allowed water to seep into the helmet, the US space agency NASA has said....
Is KCCA doing enough to curb poor hygeine?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter