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Polished performance

作者:侯胨    发布时间:2019-03-07 13:07:00    

By Peter Hadfield in Tokyo DOMESTIC robots can be pretty dumb, but the makers of a new droid say it can recognise members of the family and respond to their personal needs. The machine’s creator, the Japanese company NEC, claims it can process spoken commands, respond to them, and recognise faces or objects. “The robot is more of a prototype for interaction and communication,” says Aston Bridgeman, NEC’s spokesman. Until now, home robots have mainly been geared to household cleaning tasks, but R100’s capabilities go further. “Domestic robots in the future won’t only have to vacuum the carpet and take out the rubbish—they’ll also have to communicate with their owners, understand commands and recognise objects,” says Bridgeman. The robot stands 44 centimetres tall and weighs 7.9 kilograms. Instead of arms or mechanical tools it has a battery of lenses fixed around its body which it uses to send infrared signals to control televisions, hi-fi units and other equipment that can be operated remotely. Two eye-like cameras in R100’s head allow it to recognise objects and human faces, so that it can greet members of the household by name. This ability is put to use in a personalised messaging service. R100 can use its built-in video camera to record a message from one member of the household, and play it back only to the person for whom it was intended. When the droid recognises the recipient’s face it says: “Hi, I’ve got a message for you.” R100 can say around 300 stock phrases, allowing it to respond to greetings such as “Good morning” and “How are you?”. Currently, it can respond to around a hundred phrases and recognise 10 different faces. NEC says it has designed the robot to be “cute”. It can doze off and talks in its sleep, and will start dancing and playing music if it is petted. The robo-butler is due to go on sale in Japan in 2001. NEC has a website, in Japanese only so far,

 

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