After the release of the Waseda Talker No. 1, or WT-1, in 2000, the robotics experts and researchers at the Waseda University began working on the improvement of their talking robot. In 2001, the Waseda Talker No. 1 Refined was released.
A notable improvement is the talking robot’s capacity to speak consonant sounds such as /s/, /h/, /m/, and /p/. Like the WT-1, it is able to speak vowel sounds. It is also able to speak the word “Waseda”.
Fifteen degrees of freedom comprise the vocal organs of WT-1R. The artificial organs function as the production of a more natural speech mechanism for the talking robot. Its lungs are made from a mechanical breathing device, which simulates a human respiratory system using bellowphragm. The vocal cords are created from super soft rubber called TP010. Motors, pulleys, and wires compose the mechanism allowing the vocal cords to produce various pitches.
Features of WT-1R: