Conceptual model exhibited at RoboDEX, Jan. 2019

During this year’s edition of RoboDEX, VAIO Corporation, renowned for its leadership in the computer design and manufacturing industry, announced its new full-service robot development  platform, designed as a comprehensive solution for robot interaction design. Alongside its hardware offering, VAIO provides everything needed for robot development and operation in a single, versatile, and multipurpose platform.

VAIO Corporation and ReadSpeaker SBU at HOYA Corporation, were at the RoboDEX booth during the launch: “There is no other company that can produce robots with such high precision and stability” (…) while “halving the cost and development period. (…)” said VAIO President.  He also emphasized that through this new platform, even companies that are not familiar with robots can easily configure their own robot”.

The following video is a demonstration of “Koupenchan,” with stand-alone speech capability. Koupenchan has a synthetic voice that turns text into speech:

They demonstrated the talking “Koupenchan”, a reference exhibit for RoBoDEX and a proof of concept based on a highly popular animated character, in a stand-alone version and a cloud-based version. The talking toy was created using VAIO’s General Purpose Robotic Platform “Simple” hardware, designed for companies wanting to implement robotic conversation function in record time. The solution has built-in speech recognition, and state-of-the-art synthetic speech capability from ReadSpeaker.

The “Koupenchan” demo is an exciting  example of the state-of-the-art Deep Learning (DNN / Deep Neural Network) method, which requires a much smaller acoustic database than the more widely used text-to-speech voices do. Indeed, ReadSpeaker’s new, smart TTS voices are created based on recorded voices and the innovative DNN TTS voice generated closely resembles the character. The voice handles the nuances of pronunciation well, generating more subtle and natural speech, in a lightweight embedded solution that is perfect for VAIO’s “Simple” hardware solution, for which the latter also provides comprehensive development support.