November 3, 2010
(PhysOrg.com) — A singing, dancing humanoid recently joined a live group of dancers to perform.
Developed by the country’s biggest public research organization, Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), the new variant of HRP-4, the female robot HRP-4C deemed “Divabot,” has a realistic face, movable features and even mimics human-sounding breaths.
Diva-bot’s intricate software creates complicated movements such as jumping, dancing and even balancing. Using a mouse, those with zero robotic expertise are meant to find Diva-bot easily operable, which may or may not be a good thing considering how complex the robot is.
Comparable to the software commonly used in CG character animation, Diva-bot’s positioning can be controlled by clicking on the different parts and dragging them to the desired position, creating a sequence of key poses that the software generates, making the robot move.
The robot utilizes two primary technologies, using a real singer as a model. Researchers recorded the model’s every move as she sung a Japanese song. They used VocalListener to synthesize the singing voice on the computer, and imitate the singing voice. For the facial expressions, they used a new technology, Vocawatcher, which studies a person singing to replicate the expressions naturally. They then mapped the data onto HRP-4C and voila–Diva-bot was brought to life.
A member of the institute said they want to create a new content industry with the technology.
(c) 2010 PhysOrg.com