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Students Create Humanoid Robot Capable of Speaking Indonesian
   2016-05-03 11:57:54    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Huang Shan

A file photo shows a humanoid robot. [Photo: news.pedaily.cn]

Three university students in Indonesia have created a human-like robot named Bimax, capable of recognising human faces, playing music and communicating in Indonesian.

It's being described as a breakthrough in the country's robotics industry, and as CRI's Huang Shan reports, the young developers believe the intelligent robot has a promising future ahead of it.


For the student design team at Indonesia's School of Computer Science at Binus University, it was supposed to be their final school project.

What they created is being hailed as a big step forward in robotic science.

22-year-old Reinard Kuwandy, one of the robot's creators, explains what humanoid Bimax is already capable of doing.

"For now, Bimax can detect people's faces. That is first. Then, after being capable in recognizing faces, it can interact with humans and speak in Indonesian."

22-year-old Oew Wijaya and 21-year-old Christian Tarunajaya complete the design team and helped assembled the robot.

Standing about a metre tall, Bimax comes complete with torso, a head, two arms and two legs. It can talk, detect faces and do things just like humans do.

Getting technical - it has two support systems - a movement control mechanism which gets signals from a Raspberry Pi - a mini computer which was created to help teach science and technology in developing countries.

The Raspberry Pi serves as Bimax's brain.

Professor Widodo Budiharto, the project tutor, says the robot also makes use of speech recognition technology readily available on the web.

"With this improved Google speech technology, we can see bigger potential for creating robots that communicate in Indonesian, and this robot can be used in schools, kindergarten and first grade to assist teachers. Children would be quite happy listening to storytelling by a robot."

At the moment, Bimax can greet users, tell a story, play music or do push up exercises. But its creators say it has the capacity to do much more.

"In the future, I can add more features such as motion planning or decision making based on hypothesis or other opinions. The humanoid robot can also be made bigger in size, because we want it to resemble a human."

The students were backed by their school, and received a government grant of nearly 14,500 US dollars.

They imported the robot's body from South Korea but developed the software locally so the robot could understand Indonesian.

Bimax is the third robot made by students from Binus University. They've also already created a 'tele-presence' robot capable of communicating long distances, and a wheelchair robot which can be remotely operated by a human brain.

For CRI, this is Huang Shan.

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