We were able to visit the research center of Honda which is specialized in artificial intelligence and nanotechnology.
For Thursday the 21st of April, we had on our schedule a visit at Honda Research Institute. Such visit was made possible through the “Coop Japan Program” at the University of British Columbia, which ÉTS is a member of. First, we attended a short presentation of the enterprise which informed us about its activities, their mission and their vision. This company, which has for goal to spread the joy of movement by technological intelligence, has for vision to innovate about human-machine interactions by producing intuitive and innovative interfaces.
Then, we split the group in three so we could attend some short presentations. These were given by three Canadian intern students and were based on the projects they had been working on.
The first project presented was about recreating Honda vehicules in virtual reality. Therefore we could enter this world through the Oculus Rift peripheral. Once the headset on, the sensation felt is really convincing. We completely forget our body is not inside a vehicule! In this world, we can admire the whole vehicule from the outside or sitting inside the car. One of us was so immersed in this world that his head collided with the computer screen in front of him.
The second project was a program written in C++ that induced slight deformities to people faces during a video call in a way that made them look more happy. The effect caused is studied, as the perception of the joyous face of our interlocutor and our own happy traits seems to affect the dynamism of the conversation.
The last presentation was about artificial intelligence and was quite informative about software speech recognition. The approach used to give meaning to a word consisted in multi-dimension vector-based represention. Similar words would often appear close to the same words and would then have a similar vector. With simple vectorial operations, a correlation could then be found.
Finally, we went to have lunch at the building’s enormous cafeteria that was even on two floors. According to the desired menu, a specific line has to be followed. A conveyor system is even used to optimise the tray return process.
More information can be found on their website.