Technology

School student creates robot having emotional intelligence

A scene from Disney/PIXAR's animated movie "Wall-E". A 12th standard student had developed a robot having emotional intelligence. He said that his ‘iTalk’ although has no sci-fi movie connection but it bears resemblance to the 2008 Walt Disney produced science fiction film WALL-E. File Photo

A scene from Disney/PIXAR's animated movie "Wall-E". A 12th standard student had developed a robot having emotional intelligence. He said that his ‘iTalk’ although has no sci-fi movie connection but it bears resemblance to the 2008 Walt Disney produced science fiction film WALL-E. File Photo  

This robot may not have a Rajnikanth-like image, but the model created by a 17-year-old Doon School student possesses emotional intelligence and can even dish out answers for unexpected questions with the help of the internet.

The 3-dimension Robo ‘iTalk’, an award winning working model, talks in English, lisps like a human and understands human moods of happiness and anger with the help of unique programmed algorithms and a ‘software development kit’ offered by the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US.

“The iTalk is a robot capable of communication in a manner similar to humans. Technically, his functional construct also emulates the basic blueprint of the human body. By interpreting data in the same manner we do, he is able to emulate human behavioural tendencies,” Arjun, a class-12 student at the Doon School, said.

“He (the robot) is an intelligent module, able to take decisions on his own, learning from past experiences,” he added.

Once developed to an advanced stage, the Robo can be used for interface with children and humans for counselling and other purposes, he said.

The ‘iTalk’ Robo can distinguish between different humans with an accuracy of 97.68 per cent as it is enabled with a stereoscopic vision and face recognition software.

“The speech analysis software put inside it enables it to differentiate between different pitches and voice samples,” Arjun, who displayed his creation during his school’s 75th founder’s day celebrations, recently, said.

Arjun, who was assisted by his junior Sookrit Malik from class 10th in the project, now plans to take the Robo to international innovation forums and get a larger technical assistance from institutes like the MIT.

The students have put an initial investment of Rs 70,000 in the project which was funded by the school.

The ‘iTalk’ although has no sci-fi movie connection but it bears resemblance to the 2008 Walt Disney produced science fiction film WALL-E, in which the computer is designed to clean up a waste covered Earth sometime in the future, Arjun said.

“For each new person it meets, it creates a new profile, logging all information. This allows it to carry out various tasks such as having a conversation, and as soon as it is told something which is not already stored, it logs on to the internet and gets the information and also saves it,” he said.

The ‘iTalk’ stands 2.5-feet tall, has two eyes as webcameras, a speaker for the mouth and a track system for legs.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 10:14:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/School-student-creates-robot-having-emotional-intelligence/article15799616.ece

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