New robot reads out books loud for you, looks cute


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.


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.


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]