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How is Robotics Helping People With Hearing Loss

How is Robotics Helping People With Hearing Loss - Hearing, Balance and Speech Center

Our society has been revolutionized by technology. Nowadays there’s a gadget for just about everything, from entertainment to academics and even helping us monitor our physical well-being. The hearing industry is also benefiting from advances in robotics. Look at hearing aids for example, their functionality and sophistication has grown tremendously in the past few decades. Today, we’re taking a closer look at how robotics is helping people with hearing loss.

Robotics and Hearing Loss

Research being conducted in China have been studying the interactions between humans and robots. Through their research, they created a sensor that can tell a robot sound frequencies.

The inability to hear sounds at varying frequencies is a symptom of hearing loss. Hearing aids are traditionally used to help with this type of hearing loss.

The Importance of Sound Frequencies

Sound frequency is the speed of a sound’s vibration that determines the sound’s pitch. Sound frequency is measured as the number of wave cycles that occur in one second. Hertz (Hz) are the standard unit of measurement.

The third most common disorder in adults aged over 65 is sensorineural hearing loss, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America. The inability to clearly hear sounds, especially sounds at high frequencies, is a common symptom of sensorineural hearing loss. A high-frequency sound would be 2000 Hz and above. Whistles, birds chirping, or a child’s voice are examples of high-frequency sounds.

Hearing loss that affects the ability to hear sounds at low frequency can also happen, although it is less common. A low frequency sound would be 500 Hz and lower, such as a tiger growling or thunder rumbling.

Robotics and Hearing Aid Technology

Robots are able to understand human speech, but often struggle with the majority of other sounds. Social robotics is an area of study where researchers are looking at the intricacies of human speech, with the aim of improving the interactions between robots and humans.

The Chinese researchers who have developed the sensor brings us closer to a world where robots actually understand human speech. The sensor was developed to detect sound frequencies that the majority of human speech falls into - 100 - 5,000 Hz.

If robots are capable of detecting sound frequencies, this technology would be fantastic for hearing aid devices. We could be looking at hearing aids that are designed to only change the frequencies that you have difficulty hearing!

Upgrade Your Hearing with Hearing, Balance & Speech Center

Interested in exploring the latest hearing aid technology? Perhaps it’s time for a hearing aid upgrade. The hearing care professionals at Hearing, Balance & Speech Center would love to show you our latest hearing aid models. Book an appointment with the team at Hearing Balance & Speech Center. Call us on 1-800-HEAR-IT-1 or book a consultation with us today.

Research / Sources

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hearing-loss/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20373077
  2. https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/say-what#1
  3. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/hearing-loss-common-problem-older-adults