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The application range of communication robots could be widely expanded by the use of automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems with improved robustness for noise and for speakers of different ages. In past researches, several modules have been proposed and evaluated for improving the robustness of ASR systems in noisy environments. However, this performance might be degraded when applied to robots, due to problems caused by distant speech and the robot's own noise. In this paper, we implemented the individual modules in a humanoid robot, and evaluated the ASR performance in a real-world noisy environment for adults' and children's speech. The performance of each module was verified by adding different levels of real environment noise recorded in a cafeteria. Experimental results indicated that our ASR system could achieve over 80% word accuracy in 70-dBA noise. Further evaluation of adult speech recorded in a real noisy environment resulted in 73% word accuracy.
Date of Publication: June 2008