[ATI] Robot Goes Between Human, Car Navigation System

Jul 24, 2008
Naoshige Shimizu, Nikkei Electronics
A home robot used for an HMI
A home robot used for an HMI
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]
The robot displayed on a car navigation screen
The robot displayed on a car navigation screen
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]

NEC Corp demonstrated the use of its "PaPeRo" home robot as a human machine interface (HMI) for inputting information, such as the destination and purpose of an outing, into a car navigation system and other devices.

The demonstration was performed at AT International 2008, which runs from July 23 to 25, 2008, at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture, Japan.

The purpose of utilizing PaPeRo as an HMI is to "improve user convenience through the use of a home robot equipped with voice recognition and camera functions, instead of using a touch panel or other devices, which are usually used to input information into a car navigation system," a demonstrator from NEC said.

For example, when a user in house tells the robot that he is "going to Yokohama on a date," the robot recognizes that person's voice and uploads the information to the server via wireless LAN, etc. The server performs an arithmetical operation on the uploaded information in consideration of the dialogue history between the robot and the user, the knowledge information inputted to the robot, the season, the time, etc.

Then, information on the best route for the user to go to Yokohama on a date is calculated, and the result is sent to the user's car navigation system, etc and displayed on the screen. Therefore, the user only has to get in the car and talk to the robot to reach his destination by the best route.

Also, the company added a twist to the car navigation screen by displaying a character resembling PaPeRo on it.

"The character indicates to the user in an understandable manner that the instructions given to the robot have been successfully transferred to the car navigation system," the demonstrator said.