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'listening' Drone Helps Find Victims Needing Rescue in Disasters

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Researchers in Japan say they have developed technology capable of distinguishing simultaneous speech from multiple persons, demonstrating simultaneous meal ordering by 11 people and creating a robot game show host that manages multiple contestants answering simultaneously.

The technology stems from audition research led by Satoshi Tadokoro of Tohoku University, and it has led to the creation of a system that can detect voices, mobile device sounds, and other noises from disaster victims through the background noise of a drone designed to assist in more rapid victim recovery. The system consists of a microphone array based on robot audition open source software, a three-dimensional sound source location estimation solution with a map display that facilitates assembling an easily understood visual user interface from invisible sound sources, and an all-weather 16-microphone array linked by a single cable for installation on a drone.

The last component enables the execution of search and rescue missions even in adverse weather.

From Tokyo Tech News
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