Since its unveiling in 2016, Sophie the humanoid robotic has develop into considerably of a celeb.
The machine’s speeches, tweets, and even a current interview with Will Smith have gone viral due partly to the robotic’s compelling perch level on the uncanny valley spectrum.
Now, the corporate that developed Sohpia, Hanson Robotics, plans to mass-produce robots by the tip of the 12 months. As Reuters reviews, their plans coincide with elevated uptake in robotics amidst the pandemic.
Automation ‘to maintain individuals secure’
Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics stated 4 fashions, together with Sophia will begin to be mass produced within the first half of 2021.
This coincides with an increase in automation documented worldwide as robotics applied sciences are used to permit everyday tasks to be carried out amidst social distancing restrictions.
“The world of COVID-19 goes to want an increasing number of automation to maintain individuals secure,” founder and chief govt David Hanson advised Reuters.
“Sophia and Hanson robots are distinctive by being so human-like,” he added. “That may be so helpful throughout these instances the place individuals are terribly lonely and socially remoted.”
Pandemic aids robotic rise, Hanson Robotics
Hanson claims the corporate will promote “1000’s” of robots in 2021, although he didn’t present a selected estimation.
Johan Hoorn, a social robotics professor whose analysis contains work with Sophia re-iterated the idea that the pandemic may assist firms resembling Hanson Robotics by accelerating the connection between people and robots.
“I can infer the pandemic will truly assist us get robots earlier out there as a result of individuals begin to notice that there isn’t any different approach,” stated Hoorn, of Hong Kong Polytechnic College.
New robotic fashions
Hanson Robotics is not pinning all of its hopes on Sophia: it’s launching a brand new robotic known as Grace this 12 months, developed particularly for the healthcare sector.
After all, Hanson shouldn’t be the one firm to have launched high-profile robots in current months and years. SoftBank Robotics’ Pepper robotic, for instance, was lately deployed to detect individuals who weren’t sporting masks. Oxford College’s robotic artist Ai-Da has bought over $1 million in artwork.