June 2009 | Michael Lieberman

Meet Ninomiya-kun, the Book-Reading Robot

It is 1 meter tall and weighs in at 25 kilograms, it is the brainchild of Kitakyushu National College of Technology and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

He "reads by training its camera eyes on printed materials placed on a special book stand. Character recognition software installed on a computer in the robot's backpack translates the text into spoken words, which are produced by a voice synthesizer"

Here it is reading some fairy tales:

After a little more tweaking "the robot will be ready to read books to children and the elderly for a living"

Now that is one glorified audiobook. Shouldn't it be reading from a Kindle?

More at Pink Tentacle
Story at Daily Yomiuri (in Japanese)

Thanks to American Libraries Direct for the lead
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