New robot reads out books loud for you, looks cute

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We covered them all: Teaching robots, kissing robots, space robots, modeling robots and even sensitive robots. But Ninomiya-kun, a book-reading robot, is a new one. He might get along well with Booktime, a page-turning robot (just saying). And needless to say, all of these robots are Japanese.

Ninomiya-kun doesn’t read e-books, but those physical, paper-printed books. Standing 1m tall (weight: 25kg), he was showcased yesterday for the first time at a robot show in Southern Japan. The robot was jointly developed by two Japanese and one Chinese university.

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Ninomiya-kun is able to read through a character recognition software installed on a PC that he carries in his backpack. His two camera eyes look at a book page and a voice synthesizer turns the text he “reads” into spoken language.

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The robot is able to distinguish about 2,300 Japanese characters, which is the minimum amount the national school system expects Japanese people to learn at school.

Via Yomiuri Online [JP]

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