Artificial Intelligence, though, is taking the business world by storm – there is one thing that it’s struggling to catch up with. Bingo! You guessed it right – It’s Emotional Intelligence. But, AI is slowly gaining momentum. It may even be leading the intelligence race, making us question our very existence. And it’s only a matter of time that AI breaks this record and may change the face of the future itself. To what extent? This is a question worthy of some thought. AI’s favorite offspring has always been and will be the humanoid robots. You will be surprised to see to what extent these robots look like real humans. Robots have always received mixed reactions. While some of us are fascinated by robots, some are worried that they might steal our bread and butter and others fear they may take over the world itself- like in the movie ‘I, Robot’!
Robots and humans – is coexistence possible?
Today – more and more companies are creating human-like robots that will work closely with us humans in the hospitality, customer service, manufacturing, healthcare, and different sectors. Though these robots look exactly like humans – they still need some tweaking in terms of expressing emotions and the behavior per se. However, the way AI is advancing today – this change is not that far away and in fact, may soon convert itself into reality
What are humanoid robots?
Humanoid robots are designed to replicate human behavior, emotions, and expressions. Business enterprises and esteemed organizational committees are loosening their purse strings to win the race of conquering the most fascinating humanoid robots that will leave everybody with awe and a wow. And to create this fascinating humanoid robot, companies all over the world are investing in technologies that will equip these humanoid robots to showcase three elementary human qualities:
- Movements, and
- Most importantly, human behavior
And many of them were able to climb the first winning step in this race. And of course, they have a long way to go! But the fact that they were able to reach the first step is indeed praise-worthy. Without any further ado, let’s look at the 8 best humanoid robots that are sure to blow your mind.
Here are some 8 super-cool humanoid robots
Dr. David Hanson, the founder of Hanson Robotics created Sophia. The moment Sophia was introduced to the world – she became the media’s favorite. She is making the news headlines than most famous humans could ever manage to do. She has even appeared on the cover of Elle and Cosmopolitan, the top fashion magazines.
Her creators call her an “evolving genius machine” who is capable of making realistic facial expressions with natural human-like conversation. Thanks to the advanced machine learning algorithms that make up her brain. She uses Machine Perception to recognize human faces, understand different emotional expressions and hand gestures. Also, she uses various path planning algorithms to help control her hands, eyes, legs, etc. Sophia uses natural language processing to interact with different people and respond correctly. And all these interactions are stored on a cloud network which makes it possible to analyze the conversations using blockchain technology.
Did you know?
Sophia is said to be modeled on Hollywood legend – Audrey Hepburn. She is also a Saudi Arabian citizen officially. Besides, she is a sought-after speaker at business conferences. In fact, she had the privilege to meet some of the key decision-makers in the banking, insurance, property development, auto manufacturing, media, and entertainment industries. Not just that, she has even appeared as a panel member and presenter in many prestigious conferences that many humans have had an eye on.
Mr. Hanson believes that she will be a perfect fit as an old age companion in nursing homes, a crowd manager in large events, and so much more. In short, he hopes Sophia to develop enough social skills to interact convincingly with human beings.
2. Geminoid DK
Geminoid DK is yet another fantastic humanoid robot that looks like a real human being. Hiroshi Ishiguro, director of Intelligent Robotics Laboratory at Osaka University, Japan designed this super robot in 2011, in an effort to conquer the uncanny valley. To be precise, this humanoid robot was developed to resemble roboticist Henrik Scharfe professor at the Aalborg University in Denmark. It took nearly $200,000 to design and build Geminoid DK. Geminoid DK is a hyper-realistic robot employed to study human emotional responses in different situations.
Hiroshi Ishiguro is the man behind Erica’s creation as well. She is one of the most intelligent humanoids with extraordinary speech capabilities. This humanoid robot is one of its kind that is capable of integrating multiple skills like voice recognition, human tracking, and natural motion generation.
That is, she has speech-generation algorithms and facial recognition technology that makes it easy to track different faces in a room. Erica also can easily move her face, neck, waist with ease that doesn’t come naturally to other humanoid robots. Though Erica cannot walk, she can easily interact with human beings and change her facial expressions according to the conversation. Did you know? Erica is the most sought-after news anchor in Japan. She has won the hearts of many with her beautiful voice and graceful expressions. And hoping to win more!
4. Jia Jia
Chinese team headed by Chen Xiaoping at the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei designed Jia Jia. This interactive humanoid robot can easily move her arms, create different facial expressions, and engage in human conversations. The researchers created her with special emphasis on her eye movements and lip synchronization. She is indeed the robot goddess of China and the creators have programmed Jia Jia to offer robotic services based on cloud technology.
Though her speech patterns still need some work, Jia Jia makes up for it by looking remarkably human-like because of her eye movements and speech-lip synchronization that appears so natural. Here’s a fun fact or you could call it weird! Jia Jia – addresses her creators as ‘my lord’.
The creators of Jia Jia hope that with time, her interactions will gradually sound more “human” and less robot-like.
5. Junko Chihira
Junko Chihira, known as a trilingual humanoid robot is the product of Toshiba. They used the technology that Hiroshi Ishiguro created. Yes, we hear Ishiguro’s name again. This man is indeed a genius! Junko Chihira has amazing interaction skills, and can even make human-like facial expressions. She currently works at a tourist information center on Tokyo’s waterfront, greeting visitors in Japanese, English, and Chinese and interacting with them through a keyboard. The creates have programmed her with sign language capabilties to help hearing-impaired tourists.
Here’s another surprise! Junko Chihira also has an advanced version – Kanae Chihira. The specialty of this humanoid robot is that it can be programmed to speak any language. Also, she has much smoother movements and better intelligence capabilities as she was developed exclusively for the tourism and travel industry.
Nadine is a product of the Nanyang Technological University Singapore. The creators designed her with a special focus on the ability to replicate human expressions. This humanoid robot integrates AI and uses natural hand gestures and head movements while conversing. Nadia Magnenat Thalmann, head of MIRALab at the University of Geneva was the inspiration behind Nadine’s looks and name.
When people greet Nadine, she smiles and can even hold an eye to eye conversation with the humans. She uses facial recognition software to remember people she has met and to recall prior conversations. She is the most social humanoid robot who can express appropriate emotions while communicating. For instance, she can make a sad face when she hears something sad and a happy face when she hears something good, exciting. She is currently working as a customer service agent at AIA Singapore, an insurance company.
Protection Ensemble Test Mannequin or ‘Petman’ for short, is the product of Boston Dynamics. The US Department of Defense’s Chemical and Biological Defense program funded the development of this humanoid robot. The designers mainly developed this robot to test biological and chemical suits for the US military.
With its robotic skeleton hidden behind a hazmat suit, it’s not even close to a human’s appearance. Moreover, the suit covers its body structure and face. However, it is nearly 6 feet tall and weighs 80 kilos. It’s the fastest robot, with a top walking speed of about 7.08 kilometers per hour.
The reason for Petman’s creation was to serve as a crash dummy in order to test the effect of chemical and biological agents on protective suits and help develop superior ones in the future. The surface of this robot has sensors that can detect a breach in the suit. And in case of a breach, it can artificially perspire inside the suit.
Imagine a robot that can read primary human emotions such as anger, joy, or sadness and respond accordingly. Well, Pepper can do it all and no robot is a match when it comes to reading human emotions. SoftBank Robotics built this humanoid robot to serve as a companion that can communicate with humans in a natural, intuitive manner.
Pepper can interpret one’s facial expressions, tone of voice, and other non-verbal cues, and respond appropriately. Here’s one cool fact about Pepper – It can change the color of its eyes depending on the mood projected in the conversation.
Also, it has numerous sensors and 3 multi-directional wheels, Because of which it can move around with ease and also interact with the people it passes by. This capability has landed Pepper many jobs that require interacting with clients, mainly in banks, supermarkets, and so on.