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NTU Develops A Sociable Receptionist Robot

By Paul Pajarillo , Jan 04, 2016 01:48 AM EST
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The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore was able to develop a humanoid that looks like a human and even responds to human voice. Nadine, a social robot developed by the school, can intelligently converse and interact with people like a receptionist.

In Singapore, research on robotics by the NTU has shown interesting results. They have come up with a social robot named Nadine that can interact with people and converse with them intelligently. She, or rather it, is a humanoid with brown hair and soft human-like skin. The robot looks a person in the eye when speaking and responds to a person's voice during interactions. Nadine also remembers a conversation the first time a person interacts with it the second time around.

Nadine's creator from NTU School of Computer Engineering Professor Nadia Thalmann stated in a news release that Nadine and another robot named EDGAR have been listed as social and telepresence robots among other media innovations that can leverage companies for commercialization. Robots like EDGAR and Nadine have a wide range of applications, she added.

EDGAR, on the other hand, can be controlled by a user in a remote location in front of a webcam. The robot can mimic a person's gestures such as lowering and raising hands and facial expressions and can even deliver text-based prepared lectures. It can even interact with people and make comments about a certain topic. The EDGAR robot represents NTU's three years of research and development. The school also believes that robots can also be useful not only in healthcare but also in education.

Robotics and other robot technologies like artificial intelligence have significantly advanced over the past few years and are already being used in logistics and manufacturing. Thalmann also added in the news release that countries worldwide face difficulties of a rapidly aging population and that social and telepresence robots can be one of the solutions to address a shrinking labor force. Social robots can become companions for children without parents and senior citizens and can even be in the healthcare service caring for old people and patients in the hospital.

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