By Peter Farquhar, Technology Editor From: news.com.au July 15th, 2011
Well, this is awkward.
No doubt Professor Hideyuki Sawada had nothing but the best intentions in mind when developing his “robot mouth”, which was given a YouTube outing this week.
It’s supposed to mimic the human vocal system by utilising eight artificial vocal chords and adjusting the pitch and tone as it listens to itself.
Prof Sawada’s public demonstration proved it could do just that … as long as the human vocal system it was trying to mimic belonged to a Tuvan throat-singer.
The point of it all is to eventually find a way to give a prosthetic voice to those who have lost theirs through injury or disease, and it’s currently in use as a voice-training device for deaf people.