11th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Makuhari, Chiba, Japan
September 26-30. 2010

Speech Robot Mimicking Human Articulatory Motion

Kotaro Fukui, Toshihiro Kusano, Yoshikazu Mukaeda, Yuto Suzuki, Atsuo Takanishi, Masaaki Honda

Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan

We have developed a mechanical talking robot, Waseda Talker No. 7 Refined II, to study the human speech mechanism. The conventional control method for this robot is based on a concatenation rule of the phoneme-specific articulatory configurations. With this method, the speech mechanism of the robot is much slower than is required for human speech, because the robot requires momentary movement of motors. To resolve this problem, we have developed a control method that mimics human articulatory trajectory data. The human trajectory data for continuous speech was obtained by using an electromagnetic articulography (EMA) system. The EMA data was converted to the robot control parameters by applying inverse kinematics as well as geometric transformation. Experimental results show that the robot can produce continuous speech with human-like speed and smooth movement.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Fukui, Kotaro / Kusano, Toshihiro / Mukaeda, Yoshikazu / Suzuki, Yuto / Takanishi, Atsuo / Honda, Masaaki (2010): "Speech robot mimicking human articulatory motion", In INTERSPEECH-2010, 1021-1024.