Baby Bot to Talk

iCubAlthough it looks like the stuff of techno-nightmares this baby bot, called iCub, is to be taught to communicate with humans by scientists in Devon.

The big baby which stands 1 metre tall is the centre of a 4-year project which is to look into how parents teach their babies to talk.

The staff at the University of Plymouth will work with language development specialists and it is hoped that the project may lead to the developing of humanoid robots which learn, think and talk. ~gulp!~

iCub is to be delivered by a giant robot stork to the University of Plymouth next year. It will be given simple tasks as a child would – such as putting shapes through holes and will also be asked to name objects and actions. No doubt all the non-relatives will be called auntie and uncle. It is hoped that iCub will then acquire basic phrases such as “robot puts stick on cube” and “robot wants to watch cartoons!”.

The BBC reports that the University of Plymouth beat 31 other teams to win the £4.7m grant for the Italk – Integration and Transfer of Action and Language Knowledge in Robots – project.

The university’s partners in the project include the University of Hertfordshire and others from across Europe.

Via – BBC News