There’s something to be said about robots and how they can definitely be used to make our lives better. Like this mute quadriplegic who was able to scratch an itch by himself for the first time in 10 years. Imagine not being able to scratch an itch! I would go nuts.
Then there are those robotic creations that I am just not so sure about. Like this robot mouth created by professor Hideyuki Sawada from Kagawa University in Japan. ((Source)) There really is no better description than that – robot mouth. The robot is a mouth. A robot mouth. I am still feeling the remnants of my freaking out as I watched this robot mouth in action, so bear with me.
Anyhow, this robot mouth is not without merit. For one, it is a rather accurate representation of the human mouth. From the lips to the oral cavity to the tongue (made of silicon) – this robot mouth has got it all! To complete the setup, there is even an air pump, which functions as the lungs. There is even a nasal resonance cavity. You get the picture. The creator of the robot mouth wants it to be as real as possible. For what purpose, I can only hope it is better than what Wolowitz did with the robot arm in one of TBBT episodes. And in case you need to be reminded of that, here is a clip from YouTube. (I would have loved to embed it, but the feature is disabled for this video.)
Going back to today’s freaky exhibit, the robot mouth has the ability to “listen” to itself speak. Basically, there is a feedback mechanism by way of a simple microphone. As it hears the sounds it produces, the robot mouth can make the necessary adjustments. Now I am not so sure as to what practical purpose this creation can have. I am pretty sure that the creator has something useful in mind, but for the life of me, I cannot think of it right now. Then again, I might just still be totally freaked out. After watching this video, you will understand why.
By the way, that is supposed to be a Japanese children’s song called Kagome Kagome. You can listen to the song over at Wikipedia, but do not expect to see a lot of similarity. Freaky or what?