Scientists develop robotic mouth

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Apparently, not only will our robotic overlords be capable of crushing and / or dismembering us with their razor-like talons and arm-mounted machine guns, but they will also be able to perfectly mimic our oral movements when speaking. According to reports, researchers from the Tokyo University of Science and the Musashino Red Cross Hospital have created a robot capable of reproducing tongue and lower jaw movements associated with speech. The prototype — a model of the mouth — is able to perfectly copy the movements needed to produce vowel sounds. Using a silicon tongue, which is supported by three aluminum scaffolds and wired to eight pneumatic muscles, and a lower jaw which pivots on an axle, researchers are able to program the “mouth” with data based on magnetic resonance imaging. The next step, they say, is to create an artificial mouth which covers all movements (including consonants), allowing the bot to be used for speech therapy, foreign language training… or the basis for Terminator heads. [Warning: read link requires subscription]


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