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Watch this video of Hasbro's interactive R2-D2 Astromech Droid, which is a good example of a robot responding to voice commands.
My friend and colleague, Dave Keating, who, like me, did his degree at Reading and then was a lecturer for a time. He designed a lot of the early electronics for the first robots we got. When he moved on, he worked for a company who asked him to design an R2-D2 robot, which we have here. We’re showing R2-D2 because a lot of the sensors on there are similar to the ones that we used on the robots. So for instance, it uses ultrasonics to detect how far objects are so that when it’s moving around, it doesn’t bump into things. It has motor control on it.
It also has infrared sensors which allows it to detect when it is getting close to a person as opposed to a wall, say. In some ways, R2 is more sophisticated than our robots because it has built into voice recognition software. So you can talk to it and it will obey commands. You do so by saying to it, hey R2.
Hey, R2. And it responds to you if you get the right accent. Hey, R2. Yeah. Light beam. And its turned its light on. It worked that time. So you can have great fun with R2. And earlier, we filmed him the laboratory, obeying our commands.
Hey, R2. Dance programme.

Dave Keating, a former colleague of Richard, designed Hasbro’s interactive R2-D2 Astromech Droid, a robot which responds to voice commands. Watch this clip to find out more.

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