Vid Podpečan

Vid Podpečan

Vid Podpečan, PhD, is a researcher at the Department of Knowledge Technologies at the Jozef Stefan Institute. He received his PhD degree in Computer Science at the Jozef Stefan International Postgraduate School in 2013. His research interests lie mostly within artificial intelligence and systems biology, with a focus on data mining, robotics, computational creativity, and network analysis. He has been actively involved in several international research projects and his research work has resulted in 45+ scientific publications and several software tools.

I, Robot or How NAO Learned to Talk to People

The humanoid robot NAO has become one of the most popular robotic systems which is actively used in several research and educational institutions all over the world. Its excellent technical design combined with a sophisticated and friendly appearance have contributed to its world-wide success which rocketed the small start-up company Aldebaran Robotics among the most important producers of humanoid robots in the world.
Besides its kinematic and sensory capabilities the NAO robot system also offers advanced voice communication. Its excellent multilingual speech synthesis and robust speech recognition in limited domains enable the creation of advanced interactive robot applications. Furthermore, when equipped with an external state-of-the-art continuous speech recognition technology and conversational software, the robot can be programmed to become an intelligent interlocutor. We have developed a prototype for the NAO robot which enables intelligent voice communication between the robot and the human. In the future, such systems could be used for question answering in specific domains, translation, and making the robot an intelligent companion.