Robots As A Communication Interface

By Deepshikha Shukla

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Our everyday technology can take inputs from the environment to decode the meaning of our behaviour and turn information into digital cues for devices to respond accordingly. This makes interactions between humans and machines so natural and seamless that communicating with machines feels like talking to humans or live animals. Now that we live in a more connected society, it is becoming easier to make robots talk to various sensors, mobiles and computers in our living spaces to understand user behaviour and support users.

While robots are playing an increasingly important role in manufacturing, deliveries, disaster responses, security and surveillance and many other fields, Yukai Engineering Inc. is focused on building the consumer market for personal robots that can enhance the quality of daily life. Its latest innovations are BOCCO and QOOBO.

BOCCO cloud API makes it easy to connect to Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and control the robot remotely. Various companies are using BOCCO to deliver different services and information, including monitoring the elderly, kids and pets, smart home appliances control, weather forecasting and emergency alerts.

It has an easy-to-use voice-enabled user interface with effective voice commands, and the robot’s responses (movements, LED lights blinking patterns, etc) can be clearly understood by the user. It uses voice processing technology that can effectively deal with noise and other problems.

BOCCO (Credit: www.digimonostation.jp)

BOCCO watches over kids and elders at home when you cannot be there. BOCCO app makes it easy to exchange messages with them. Messages sent are read out by BOCCO in a cute loud voice for them. What they say on BOCCO in reply to your messages is sent to your phone. The vibration sensor that comes with BOCCO notifies you to receive your child when he or she comes home, and opens the door. Its price is around ₹ 16,000.

The next-generation communication robot BOCCO emo, which inherited the name BOCCO, has changed to a round, sitting-down appearance. The range of expressions has further increased, such as LED on the cheek blinking and head antenna falling. The robot understands the language spoken by the user and can speak in its robot language, BOCCO.
The artificial intelligence (AI) conversation engine, which is the basis for BOCCO language, has been developed by director Yutaka Saito of Seaman Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. The uniqueness of this engine is its memory and personality.

Smart assistants and smartphone AI assistants so far have only answered questions one by one and can respond to questions and instructions quickly, but they do not respond to calls that are not in their library. However, Saito’s AI receives words, sorts out the context up to that point, returns new questions and even gives advice.

AI with personality may not always be an excellent assistant, but warm communication will shake people’s emotions. BOCCO language is an electronic sound, so it will not be like a conversation between people like a demo, but the human side may complement the meaning and feel more sympathetically. The AI conversation engine is still under development.


 

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