AI-suke the robot

By Rob Zwetsloot. Posted

In Japan, there’s a yearly programming contest for young makers organised by the PCN (Programming Club Network). PCN helps kids learn to code, so in some ways it’s similar to CoderDojo and its Coolest Projects.

This year’s winner, Rito Takahashi, created AI-suke (I-sue-kay), a robot that uses facial recognition to greet people at the door. In a time when people are staying at home, it helps to avoid unnecessary contact.

“I named the robot AI-suke, which means ‘AI help’,” Rito tells us. “AI-suke has a built-in camera and speaker, and faces and voice messages are registered in advance. AI-suke can do face recognition to identify the person who visits the house, and play a voice message tailored to that person.”

Notifications, with a photo, are sent to the user's phone via LINE

It will also send notifications to LINE, a smartphone instant messaging service, so you can know if someone has arrived while you’re out of the house.

Design and success

AI-suke has a ‘face’, as well as other humanoid features, which gets people to look at it. This, in turn, means their face can actually be seen by the camera.

Rito and AI-suke

“The people talking to AI-suke feel calm and happy because of its cute voice and appearance,” Rito says. “My five-year-old brother acted as the voice actor. The cute body is made with cardboard and wire. These give people a warm impression, as well as ease the anxiety.”

You can view a video of AI-suke in action. It’s in Japanese, but you’ll get the idea.

What does the future hold for this young maker?

“I would like to make things that are not only useful for people, but also make people happy. Raspberry Pi has many powerful functions, so I will try them to improve my future work.”

From The MagPi store