Notes on Robots, Alienation, and Anticipatory Anthropology

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Introducing Japan’s new singing robot (w/ Video) Listen to her sing!

October 15, 2010 by Lin EdwardsIntroducing Japan’s new singing robot (w/ Video)


( — A new humanoid robot, the HRP-4, has been unveiled at the CEATEC Japan 2010 trade show. The robot, nicknammed “diva-bot,” has learned to sing by mimicking a human singer, enabling it to sound natural and to sing with more expression than any previous robot.

A research team from the media interaction group at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Tokyo, , and led by Masataka Goto, used a new technology called VocalListener to observe a real singer in action and synthesize the appropriate notes of the song with the help of Yamaha’s existing voice synthesizing software, Vocaloid.

The ’s facial expressions were generated with a second new technology, called Vocawatcher, which analyzes video of a singer to mimic the expressions.

A human singer singing a typical Japanese pop song was used as a model, with her body and facial movements being mapped onto the  so it would move in a realistic manner. The technology is even able to model the singer’s breathing movements and synthesize the sounds of breathing.

Masataka Goto, who is a music technology research scientist and music software developer, as well as leader of the media interaction group at AIST, said if robots are to become widespread in society they need to first become widespread in entertainment fields so that their use will gain acceptance.

Japanese researchers have been working on many kinds of humanoid robots, including a smiling robot, and robots that could replace humans in repetitive manual labor tasks.

The Comprehensive IT and Electronics Comprehensive Exhibition (CEATEC) is an annual trade show held in Tokyo for consumer electronics and technology.


About carlos

I'm a curious person, of reasonable intellect, "on the beach" (retired) and enjoying my interest in anthropology, language, civil rights, and a few other areas. I've been a hippie/student/aerospace tech writer in the '60s, a witness to the Portuguese revolution in the ‘70s, a defense test engineer and witness to the Guatemalan genocide in the '80s, and a network engineer for an ISP in the '90s. Now I’m a student and commentator until my time is up. I've spent time under the spell of the Mesoamerican pyramids and the sweet sound of the Portuguese language. I've lived in Europe, traveled in Brazil, Central America, Iceland, New Zealand, and other places. My preferred mode of travel is with a backpack and I eat (almost) anything local. Somehow, many of the countries I have been to have had civil unrest (for which I was not responsible). I'm open to correspond with anyone who might share my liberal, humanist interests. I live in San Buenaventura, California.
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One Response to Notes on Robots, Alienation, and Anticipatory Anthropology

  1. Pingback: Dancing Divabot performs on stage (w/ Video) « Machimon

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