AI robot who can ‘read horoscope and speaks 38 languages’ only cost £500 to make

A hobbyist claims to have built an artificially-intelligent humanoid robotic woman that can identify different objects, solve maths problems, and speak 38 languages.

Computer science teacher Dinesh Patel says the robot, which he has named Shalu, was made for a cost of less than £500 using waste plastic and cardboard.

He says Shalu has a wide range of abilities – and can read newspapers, deliver weather reports and read out horoscopes and recipes.

Dinesh built her with waste materials including aluminium, cardboard, wood and plastic – and then hooked her up to a computer.

He is now looking to using 3D printing to help him give Shalu more realistic body parts.

Dinesh says Shalu speaks more than 38 foreign languages including English – and nine local languages.

"I've developed this robot from scratch in my spare time, using scrap materials and components procured locally," Dinesh said.

"The software has also been largely built by me using public-domain libraries.

"This goes to show how it is possible to build things locally that can indeed compete in capabilities with those coming from much more resourceful labs around the world."

Dinesh, from the Indian village of Rajmalpur of Uttar Pradesh's Jaunpur district, was inspired by the Bollywood movie 'Robot'.

He spent more than three years devoted to his special project – spending around £493 (INR 50,000) creating Shalu.

"I gave it the face of a woman for general acceptance and be the environment ambassador," he added.

"There's plenty to be done and I hope I will succeed in it in the foreseeable future."

A similar robot named Sophia has been developed by Hong Kong-based engineering company – Hanson Robotics.

Dinesh said: "I've focused on it being a guide for students to introduce them to robotics. It is nothing but joy to make something out of nothing. I want it to be a time-saving product for students."

"It can be a good friend and mentor for students – answering their basic questions regarding general knowledge and maths.

"I am keen to make it more beneficial for the students in impoverished communities.

"There are tens of thousands of children yet to make it to schools across India. I am targeting that to help such children who are willing to study but can't afford it.”

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