NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Dubai, UAE, United Arab Emirates, 2009/10/20 - Acapela Group and the IRML from UAE University demonstrates world’s first Arabic conversational humanoid robot, speech empowered by the Acapela brand new bilingual voice Nizar.
Acapela Group, the Vocal solution expert, is welcoming the Interactive Robots and Media Lab (IRML) of the United Arab Emirates University to jointly demonstrate IbnSina during Gitex, unveiling to the IT community new breaking research achievements associating robot and social communication.
Robotics will soon start to change our daily life tremendously, in multiple different ways. However, in most existing conversational robots, the interest of users seems to curb after a while due to a lack of novelty, personalization and character in their dialogues and encounters.
'At the IRML, a major development is taking place: robots that can have shared memories and shared friends with humans are being created; promising more interesting encounters, and a sustainable and long-lasting friendly relationship between Humans and Robots!' says Dr. Nikolaos Mavridis, Director of the IRML.
Created by the IRML, Ibn Sina, the world’s first Arabic-speaking humanlike humanoid robot, is part of a new family of robots which aims to move a step forward in the way robots interact with humans – by using novel face recognition, vision, speech solutions and other advanced technologies, and also by using and publishing online social information – available on FaceBook, towards better relationships with humans.
Acapela speech solutions come in to voice empower Ibn Sina allowing him to voice-interact and communicate with its environment. The robot is using both ASR and TTS technologies from Acapela to set up a full dialogue and add a natural Arabic voice to Ibn Sina persona. The information is vocalised using Nizar, the brand new voice from Acapela, super natural and fully Arabic/English bilingual.
'A central modality for interaction with IRML's novel robots is Natural Spoken Language: and this is exactly where Acapela's strengths really catalyze the future. For example, IbnSina is using Acapela text-to-speech as well as Acapela speech recognition – enabling it to carry out fluid conversations in Arabic, speaking about himself and his story. And Facebots-tech enables also speaking about previous encounters with the human the robot is conversing with and his friends, and about online news and facebook minifeeds!' comments Nikolaos Mavridis.
'We are very happy to contribute to the IRML Robots projects. Acapela is by nature always working on innovations and use in Robotics is obviously a hot topics. The Group participates to different initiatives and programmes around the world. Ibn Sina is a major step forward in the way we consider robotics interaction in our daily lives. Adding memory and social dimension to a robot will dramatically change the way bots may help to achieve daily tasks for us. Speech is of course such a strategic issue and we are very proud to take part of this approach, supporting the IRML prestigious laboratory with Acapela voice expertise' adds Lars-Erik Larsson, CEO of Acapela Group.
About the IRML
The IRML laboratory, is home to Ibn Sina as well as to the Microsoft distinguished award winning 'FaceBots' social robots project – where the idea of robots utilizing and publishing social information was first proposed. The director of IRML, Dr. Nikolaos Mavridis, a PhD graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, had also created Ripley, a conversational robot with sensorymotor-and-linguistic abilities comparable to those required for passing the 'Token Test', a psychological test for 3-year olds. IRML is also currently developing numerous other related technologies, including interactive theatres, virtual museums, robotic embodied tele-presence, and even brain-computer interfacing towards robots controlled... by your thoughts!
[10-19-2009 - Content made possible by PRZOOM indexing services]