The average student's backpack is loaded with a bunch of books. For the average robotic student? A backpack stuffed with a computer, which allows that 'bot to read said books.
Ninomiya-kun, a robot built by Japan's Waseda University (along with a few of the country's other technical institutes), is loaded with character recognition software that allows its camera-eyes to pick out consecutive words on a page and read them out loud in sequence. The end result? It can read books.
Right now, Ninomiya-kun's voice is still a bit, well, robot-y, but the researchers working on it hope to give it a bit more feeling. It can recognize over 2,000 kanji and the supplementary alphabets of Japanese, hiragana and katakana, and is pretty good at reading elementary texts. Click Continue to see a demo of Ninomiya-kin doing its thing.
Via Pink Tentacle