Sat, May 23, 2009 - Page 2 News List

NCKU unveils ‘world’s smallest’ voice-activated robot

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Wang Jhing-fa, center, a professor of electronic engineering at National Cheng Kung University, shows off what the university says is the world’s smallest voice-activated robot, during a press conference yesterday.

PHOTO: CHU PEI-HSIUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) yesterday unveiled what it said is the world’s smallest voice-activated robot that can understand instructions in several languages.

Wang Jhing-fa (王駿發), a professor of electronic engineering at NCKU, told a press conference yesterday that the robot — 15cm in height — could take instructions and perform different tasks, such as performing tai chi, ­kneeling down or shaking hands with humans.

Owners of the robot can also program the robot to do other tasks, Wang said.

“It can perform thousands of actions and stimulate students’ creativity,” he said after demonstrating the robot.

Wang said the university is now looking to develop other functions, such as having this robot serve as a security guard.

“There is a camera on the robot so it can be controlled remotely to check areas we don’t want to check ourselves,” he said.

Wang also demonstrated software created by the university to convert a two-dimensional video clip into three dimensions. Viewers would be able to watch a three-dimensional video on TV without having to wear special glasses, he said.

Wang said the two innovations are to be presented at this year’s Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) International Symposium on Circuits and ­Systems to be held in Taipei from tomorrow to May 27.

“That the IEEE symposium will be held in Taiwan means that everyone recognizes Taiwan’s achievements in electronic engineering,” he said.

The symposium would also help the world better understand Taiwan’s research and development achievements and improve the standard of the nation’s electronic engineering research by bringing in the latest innovations from other countries, he said.

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