Ranchi man Ranjit Srivastava,38, has developed an Indian version of ‘Sophia,’ a social humanoid robot developed by a Hong Kong-based organization, named Rashmi which can communicate in Hindi, Bhojpuri, and Marathi alongside English.
The developer asserted it as world’s first Hindi speaking realistic humanoid robot and India’s first lip-syncing robot. Rashmi uses linguistic interpretation (LI), artificial intelligence (AI), visual data and facial recognition systems.
Srivastava said, “Rashmi functions under a specially designed software, and linguistic interpretation system developed by me. The LI programme analyses the feeling of the conversation while the AI program analyses the conversation to extract the response from the device.”
Experts termed it as an incredible achievement. “I have not heard of any Hindi speaking robot in India. Though I haven’t seen a robot, it is incredible if it was developed,” said Dr Somnath Chattopadhyaya, an associate professor of IIT-Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad. He is also the dean of innovation & incubation.
Master of business administration (MBA), Srivastava, who has expertise in software development of more than 15 years, has developed the speaking robot in 2 years at a little cost of Rs 50,000.
“It will take 1-month more to give it the perfect appearance of a human. Head & body have been developed & they are functioning properly. The process is on to add hands and legs to it,” Srivastava said. The proprietor of Lotus Communication, a Ranchi based software company, Srivastava, said the robot has many features besides the lip-syncing. It gives facial, eye, lips, and eyebrow expressions and it can move its neck.
“Humanoid robot is the need of future generation. It can work as a bank receptionist, helper, a friend of lonely people & others,” he said. Ask the robot anything, it will reply in the same manner. If the robot is said, you are ugly, it replies…go to hell. Say, you are beautiful, it will reply-“Thank you.”
When she was asked about her favorite actor, replied Shahrukh Khan. “It can talk for hours with a person& it recognises the person after few meetings due to cameras outfitted in its eyes,” Srivastava said.
Who inspired Srivastava to take up the speaking robot challenge, he said it was Sophia. “When I saw it & its functions, I thought it could be developed & decided to develop a Hindi speaking robot in July 2016,” said Srivastava, who has developed many software for different departments of the state government. Many of his software received national recognition.
Ranjit claims to have developed e-Nibandhan portal for registration department, which received the Scotch award, e-library for information & public relation department, tourism portal for tourism department, which won a national tourism award.