Creepy singing robot head can read lyrics recognize people

first_imgWe’ve seen plenty of singing robots in the past, from Chuck E Cheese to the “It’s a Small World” ride at Disneyland. But, as technology improves, so do our robots and a team from the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology in Taipei have created something that’s both terrifying and impressive: a humanoid head that can read simplified music scores and then sing them in a creepy robot voice.No, the singing robot doesn’t sound like R2-D2; the synthesized voice actually doesn’t sound half bad. Chyi-Yeu Lin, the head of the project, said the robot takes a photo of the music using cameras built in to its eyes. An algorithm is able to detect the pitch, rhythm, and lyrics and send that info to a voice synthesizer. The robot then starts to sing, opening and closing its mouth with each lyric. As long as the lyrics are written with Roman spellings, the robot can sing songs from any culture. The robot in the video below is singing in Mandarin.The humanoid can read a sheet of music in 40 seconds, and then sing the entire song. Most normal musicians need a few minutes to look over a new piece and then, of course, it takes time to memorize the words. These robots can do it all under 1 minute.Will these humanoids put Broadway actors out of business? If they could perfect the pitch and rhythm, it’d be a lot cheaper to use the same robots for every play and not have to pay for all that rehearsal time before opening night. Okay, we’re only half serious about that. Who would really pay to see a theater full of robots sing?Actually, one of the developers’ goals is to see a collection of the humanoids one day singing and forming a robotic theater group. But, we’re still pretty creeped out by just one of these robots, so the thought of a whole troop of them frightens us.The developers did a random survey of 100 people stopped on the streets of Taipei and found that half of them thought the robot was entertaining. About 40 percent thought the voice quality was similar to a human’s voice and another 40 percent thought it to be unrealistic but acceptable.We may be seeing these robots in other areas besides the theater. According to Lin, the team is  teaching the robot how to interact and recognize humans so that robotic heads can be put on robots and become receptionists or hostesses at some large restaurants in China.via New Scientistlast_img read more

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