July 18, 2011

Robotic Mouth Sings the "Natural" Way

When it comes to robotics, the sounds they make is either due to the machinery that runs them or an electronic recording that comes out of a speaker.

Well, there's a scientist, Hideyuki Sawada, who is working on a robotic "mouth" that produces sound the same way humans do.

- Lungs to power the voice using airflow
- Vocal cords to create the noise to create a voice
- Pharynx (Throat) to create the space and harmonic overtones that affect the "quality" of the voice
- Articulators (lips, teeth, tongue) to produce speech

In this picture of the robot, the lips are pretty obvious (the oval fish-mouth appearing aperture). The lungs are the glass jar on the right. The vocal cords are located where the glass jar connects to the pharynx which is represented by the skin-toned plastic pipe with the pistons attached at the bottom.

Here's a video showing it in action.

Here's another video showing a REAL human voice in action.

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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