Promobot Robots Got “Ears”

The specialists of the Promobot company have created a special version of the microphone array – a device with the help of which robots recognize human speech in noisy places – airport, MFC or shopping center. It has no analogues on the robotics market, the developers say.

Promobot’s speech recognition is practically independent of distance: over the year, the percentage of recognition at a distance of one meter from the robot has grown from 25% to 75% – three times. This is the highest in the world for service robots.

The microphone array consists of eight microphones – with their help, the robot detects noise at a distance of up to two meters from it. The algorithm provides capture of analog data from microphones, their conversion, echo cancellation and data transmission. The program separates human speech from noise, then it recognizes phrases, thanks to which the robot enters into a dialogue. Unlike voice assistants, which react only to clear speech of a person, Promobot reacts to all the noise – and already “inside it” it looks for a human voice, both for children and adults.

Development and testing lasted for a year, from January 2020.The device was patented this fall. Chinese robot manufacturers are interested in the microphone array, the Russian company plans to start selling the device in January 2021.

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