New Anthropomorphic Talking Robot having a Three-dimensional Articulation Mechanism and Improved Pitch Range.
ABSTRACT We have developed a new three-dimensional talking robot Waseda Talker No. 6 (WT-6), which generates speech sounds by mechanically simulating articulatory motions as well as aero-acoustic phenomena in the vocal tract. WT-6 has 17-DOF vocal mechanism. It has three-dimensional lips, tongue, jaw and velum which form the 3D vocal tract structure. It also has an independent jaw opening/closing mechanism, which controls the relative tongue position in the vocal tract as well as the oral opening. The previous robot in the series had a 2D tongue and was not able to realize precise closure to produce human-like consonants such as /s/ or /r/. The new tongue, which can be controlled to form 3D shapes, is able to produce more realistic vocal tract shapes. The vocal cord model was also improved by adding a new pitch control mechanism that pushes from the side of the vocal cords. The pitch range is broader than that of the previous robot; it is sufficiently broad so as to be able to reproduce normal human speech. Preliminary experimental results showed improved synthesized speech quality for the vowels /a/, /u/ and /o/.
Conference Proceeding: Mechanical voice system and its singing performance[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: A mechanical model of the human vocal system is being developed based on a mechatronics technology under a feedback control. While various ways of vocal sound production have been actively studied so far, a mechanical construction of the vocal system is considered to advantageously realize natural vocalization with its fluid dynamics. Motors are employed for the manipulation of the mechanical system. The system is able to adoptively learn the relations between motor control parameters and the produced vocal sounds using an auditory feedback with neural networks, by mimicking a human vocalization. This paper presents the construction of a talking robot and its singing performance, together with the adaptive control for the pitch learning. The talking robot generates vowel and consonant sounds of different pitches by dynamically controlling the vocal cords, vocal tract and nasal cavity.Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2004. (IROS 2004). Proceedings. 2004 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on; 01/2004
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ABSTRACT: This paper describes development of a new human-like talking robot WT-4 (Waseda Talker No. 4). WT-4 was developed to overcome the problems related to the lack of variation in the formant frequency of the sounds generated by the previous talking robot WT-3. These problems arose particularly on the first formant (F1) where frequencies of less than 500 [Hz] could not be reached. And the differences among WT-3’s vowels were not clear; which may have been caused by the sound source of the vocal cords and the lips. Therefore, the connection between the vocal cords and the vocal tract was improved, as well as the lips mechanism. As the result of these improvements, WT-4’s sounds were quite similar to a human’s, and WT-4 was able to reproduce suitable sounds using auditory feedback.01/2005;
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ABSTRACT: We have developed a new talking robot, WT-5 (Waseda Talker No. 5), having novel vocal cords and lips based on human biological structures. The vocal cords are made from the thermoplastic rubber "Septon", available from Kuraray Co. Ltd, which has a similar elasticity to human tissue. The vocal cord model was constructed with a similar structure to the biological structure of the human vocal cords. The vocal cords vibrated like those of a human. The new lips were able to attain a large deformation in a similar manner to human lips, without the leakage of air. This allowed clear pronunciation of vowels. With these new mechanisms, the robot could reproduce human speech in a more biological manner and could produce voices closer to those of a human.Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2005. (IROS 2005). 2005 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on; 09/2005