Kagawa University professor, Hideyuki Sawada, has created a robotic mouth that can talk and also sing. The mouth was presented at Robotech 2011, where it was made to recite “Kagome, Kagome”, a Japanese children’s song.
The robotic mouth has vocal cords, auditory system, vocal tract nasal cavity and lung trachea. Similar to resonance control motors in humans, the “mouth” has about eight resonance control motors for moving the lips and the vocal tract to sing. Vocal chords change the frequency of sound waves to create different notes. In the robotic mouth, an air compressor forces the air through artificial vocal chords. The flow of air is controlled by an intermediate pressure valve. A pitch control motor controls sound pitch through pressure of air.
A resonance tube, vocal chords, nasal cavity and a tongue make up the vocal tract. The tongue, made of silicon, has the ability to move within the vocal tract. The mouth can learn while it sings. The robotic mouth has the ability to learn from the mistakes it makes, and then it attempts to correct the sound every time.
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An attempt has been made to create the robotic mouth technically similar to a human mouth. But, to make it attractive a plastic surgeon may be required.