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
New facets sparkle in Windows 10
Microsoft's new Windows 10 computer operating system is out to win the love its predecessor never got....
Google adds 20 languages to instant translation app
Google has announced it is adding 20 new languages for its mobile translation application that reads text and instantly converts to another tongue....
Microsoft launches free Windows 10 upgrade
Microsoft’s latest version of Windows operating system is finally here.The long-time leader in PC software launched its much-awaited Windows 10 on Wednesday in Nairobi Kenya....
LG Electronics posts 45% in Q2 net profit
South Korea's LG Electronics on Wednesday reported a 45 percent in its second-quarter net profit owing to sluggish smartphone sales and unfavourable currency rates....
Nissan
Nissan on Wednesday said its net profit for the three months to June soared 36.3 percent to $1.3 billion on strong sales in North America and Europe....
Toyota falls behind VW in world
Toyota has fallen behind Volkswagen in the race for the world's biggest automaker title, figures showed Tuesday, as the German giant outsold its Japanese rival in the first half of the year....
Should faith based organisations be registered as Non-government organisations?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter