Saya is the new departmental robot receptionist (as seen on TV). This page is intended to serve mainly as a reference to its programming interface for interested students.
The mechanical control of Saya is realized via 22 face/neck McKibben-type pneumatic actuators (each receiving a value translated to 0–10V level, via USB port), and additionally via neck and eyes DC motors (simultaneously controlled by a microprocessor receiving simple commands via RS-232 port). We provide a Java wrapper API to these controls, also restricting the parameters to safe values (of course, Saya has physical protection from excessive air pressure as well).
Additionally, Saya has a video camera with regular USB interface in her left eye, and similarly transparent connections to microphone and speakers. For more details, see, e.g., this paper by Kobayashi et al.
The software which arrived with Saya consists of device drivers, controller firmware, and two components operating in closed loop. The first component interfaces with Microsoft Speech SDK in order to synthesize speech and produce facial expressions in response to a precompiled dictionary. The second component uses DirectShow to extract camera input and apply simple color filtering to locate the desired objects. It then controls DC motors to focus on these objects. The projects have been reorganized and converted to MS VS 8 format. Yet, our first objective: MS garbage out, advanced cross-platform projects in. :)
We seek highly capable students who want to breathe life into Saya. There are many project possibilities: face tracking / recognition, free speech recognition, speech synthesis, graphical simulation, web interface, anything you can think of. For details, contact Shlomi Dolev or Michael Orlov.
- Vladimir Postel and Edward Rafaelov, Saya Web Interface project (slides, clip).
- Ma'ayan Ben-Nun and Liran Maimon, Saya Main Loop, Spring 2006/2007 mini-project.
- Gabriel Satanovsky and Elad Aviv, Saya Speech Synthesis, Spring 2006/2007 mini-project (pdf).
- Doron Meir and Yaniv Zamir, Saya Speech Recognition: Sphinx, Summer 2006/2007 mini-project.
- Aviad Otmazgin and Amir Baron, Saya Speech Recognition: Dragon, Summer 2006/2007 mini-project.
- Sasha Kugel and Shira David, Saya Chatbot: Alice, Summer 2006/2007 mini-project.
- Hadas Shveky and David Stein, Saya Web Server 1, Spring 2006/2007 mini-project.
- Lior Levi and Michael Bragilevsky, Saya Web Server 2, Summer 2006/2007 mini-project.
- Itamar Chazanovitz and Meital Greenwald, Emotion Estimation 1, Spring 2007/2008 mini-project.
- Tomer Shenhar and Edan Kfir, Emotion Estimation 2, Spring 2007/2008 mini-project.
- Anton Podolsky and Valery Frolov, Face Tracking, Spring 2007/2008 mini-project.
- Ilya Kaganosvky, Speaker Recognition, Spring 2007/2008 mini-project.
- Igal Shilman, Information Snippets Provider 1, Spring 2007/2008 mini-project.
- Enrico Magen and Assaf Perl, Information Snippets Provider 2, Spring 2007/2008 mini-project.
- Ilan Shtokhamer and Yuval David, Information Snippets Provider 3, Spring 2007/2008 mini-project.
- Asi Lichtenstein and Benny Hansav, Information Snippets Provider 4, Spring 2007/2008 mini-project.
- Roy Reicher and Yonatan Lerman, Information Snippets Provider 5, Spring 2007/2008 mini-project.
- Russian channel 1, «Время» (Feb 08, 2007): YouTube, local mirror.
- Channel 2,
The News 2(Jan 31, 2007): YouTube, local mirror.
- Channel 10, YouTube, local mirror.
- Channel 1,
Mabat(Jan 31, 2007): unfortunately, the Mabat video is unavailable.
- Maariv Online (Feb 1, 2007): YouTube, local mirror.
- Saya is no one's fool, BGU press release
What happens when you call the receptionist
stupid?, Walla News
- Robot turns receptionist in Israeli university, Folha Online (Brazil)
- Robot receptionist Ms Saya starts her new job, Daily Mail (UK)
- Doesn't stop talking, Blink, pp. 45–47 (Industrial Affiliates Program magazine)