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Development of An Artificial Ear for Robot
Robot industry is demanding robot auditory system in a specific type of artificial ears shaped after human external ear, particularly pinnae, for human-robot interface. Researches on sound source localization methods for robot artificial ears have been started recently. However, those are not adequate enough to be practical with specific constraints given by the robot industry such as pinnae size, the number of microphones and sampling frequency and so on. We have developed modularized robot artificial ears, each of which consists of a pair of microphones and single pinnae with 7cm in length corresponding to human average pinnae size. We placed microphones and pinna such as figure 1 for speaker localization, especially direction for Humanoid Robot and used signal processing, i.e. cleansing method for eliminating reflected waves induced by robot platform are important for application of this sensor. Further on, we want to use this module to multi-platforms and noisy environment. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to evaluate applicability of artificial ear module to, at least, 3 multi-platforms in real situation.

Fig 1. An artificial ear attached to spherical head showing the placement of two microphones and single pinna.

Fig 2. Proposed localization system using two modularized artificial ears