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Which clippings match 'Futuristic Machines' keyword pg.2 of 2
10 MARCH 2010

The Voder: first attempt to synthesise human speech

"The Bell Telephone Laboratory's Voder* was the first attempt to synthesise human speech by breaking it down into its component sounds and then reproducing the sound patterns electronically to create speech.

That sounds simple in theory and, in fact it was. The Voder actually produced only two basic sounds: a tone generated by a radio valve to produce the vocal sounds and a hissing noise produced by a gas discharge tube to create the sibilants. These basic sounds were passed through a set of filters and an amplifier that mixed and modulated them until what came out of the loudspeaker sounded something like this.

Unfortunately, as is often the case, what was simple in theory was extremely difficult in practice. To get the machine to actually speak required an operator to manipulate a set of keys and a foot pedal to convert the hisses and tones into vowels, consonants, stops, and inflections. And the operator needed a year's practice just to master the keys."

(David H. Szondy)

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TAGS

1939audioBell LabsBell Telephone Laboratoriescomputer historydevicediscoveryfuturistic machineshuman speechindustrial designinnovationkeyboardmachinemusical instrument • New York World's Fair • Pedro • pioneeringproduct designrobot • she saw me • simulationsoundspeculative designspeech synthesistechnology • Voder • voice • voice synthesis

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
04 MAY 2005

Plustech's Walking Machine: stranger than fiction

"[Plustech's] walking machine adapts automatically to the forest floor. Moving on six articulated legs, the harvester advances forward and backward, sideways and diagonally. It can also turn in place and step over obstacles. Depending on the irregularity of the terrain, the operator can adjust both the ground clearance of the machine and heigh of each step.

Robots making their debut as futuristic machines in the movies are now starting to find their way into the real world as industrial machines."

(plustech.fi)

[Plustech is now Timberjack, a division of John Deere]

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TAGS

adapted transport • animal locomotion • cars on tilts • futuristicfuturistic machinesinsect locomotioninsect movement • jet-propulsion • John Deere • legslocomotionman machinemechanical engineering • mechanics • moving • Plustech • robot • six legged • timberjack • walkingwalking machine

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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