iCub: The Talking Baby Robot

icub robot

A baby robot called iCub would soon help researchers study how a robot may be able to develop and pick up language skills. Researchers at the School of Computer Science of the University of Hertfordshire are working with an international team led by the University of Plymouth on a project called ITALK or Integration of Transfer of Action and Language Knowledge in Robots.

ITALK project aims to teach the robot to develop language skills by using the same methods that is used by human parents to teach their children. Professor Chrystopher Nehaniv and Professor Kerstin Dautenhahn, both professors at the University of Hertfordshire and also leading experts in Artificial Intelligence and Human Robot Interaction, will be conducting the experiments in human and robot language interaction in order to enable the robot to talk with humans.

One of the typical experiments that will be conducted with the iCub would be activities such as inserting objects of various shapes into their corresponding holes inside a box, stacking wooden blocks as well as serializing nested cups. The robot will also be taught how to name objects and actions so that it can develop using simple phrases to converse with humans.

The approach of the research would be to let the robot learn individually and socially for others and use its language abilities to further learn other social and manipulative abilities. This will enable the iCub to use the language that it learns to develop other cognitive abilities. It will be patterned to how a child learns by imitation of parents and interacting with the environment around it. This research will have a significant impact on the development of future generations of interactive robotic systems.

Source: University of Hertfordshire. "First Humanoid Robot That Will Develop Language May Be Coming Soon." ScienceDaily 4 March 2008. 8 May 2008 .

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