When people think of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the major image that pops up in their heads is that of a robot gliding around and giving mechanical replies. There are many forms of AI but humanoid robots are one of the most popular forms.
Humanoid robots are used for research and space exploration, personal assistance and care-giving, education and entertainment, search and rescue, manufacturing and maintenance, public relations, and healthcare. Modern-day humanoids are developed to carry out different human tasks and occupy different roles in the employment sector. Some of the roles they could occupy are the role of a personal assistant, receptionist, front desk officer and so on.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic turmoil, it is expected that the Global Humanoid Robot Market would reach $13 billion by 2026. Even though future market seems unclear, robot usage is on the rise.
As the virus spreads globally, robots are being deployed in many countries. Some robots can help relieve tired nurses in the hospitals, do basic cleaning and deliveries, others can help in the warehouses, while industrial robots can help maintain some production for manufacturing companies while their human co-workers are quarantined.
Here are some of the popular humanoid robots of 2020:
ROBOTIC AMBASSADOR, SOPHIA
This is the world’s first robot citizen. She was introduced to the United Nations on October 11, 2017. On October 25th, she was granted Saudi Arabian citizenship, making her the first humanoid robot ever to have a nationality.
It was created by Hongkong-based Hanson Robotics and can carry out a wide range of human actions. It is said that she is capable of making up to fifty facial expressions and can equally express feelings. She has very expressive eyes and her Artificial Intelligence revolves around human values.
In 2020, the AI-powered four-year-old robot is going to continue her role as a robotic ambassador, helping to advance research into robotics and human-robot interactions. Sophia can move, talk, show some emotions, draw, and sing.
DELIVERY ROBOT, DIGIT
Ford became the first customer to incorporate Agility Robotics’ Digit into a factory setting. Digit is a headless humanoid that has nimble limbs and is packed with sensors. It can navigate the stairs, various obstacles, and all kinds of terrains. It can balance on one foot, but usually it walks upright and is strong enough to pick up and stack boxes weighting up to 40 pounds. It can also fold itself for compact storage.
Ford envisions that Digit will ride in a driverless car and deliver packages to customers, automating the whole delivery process.
ROBOTIC BARTENDER, KIME
Kime is a food and beverage serving robot, developed by Macco Robotics in Spain. It has a human-like head and torso with two arms inside a kiosk. Kime is known to be quite good at pouring beer and can serve up to 300 glasses per hour.
EDUCATIONAL ROBOT, PEPPER
SoftBank Robotics’ Pepper was designed to be a friendly emotions-reading helper to work as a receptionist, in retail, and, even, as a nanny. Now, Pepper comes with an educational integrated development environment (IDE), called Tethys, that was created to teach students how to code. Using the software, students can program the humanoid to move, talk, gesticulate, and show different messages on its screen, all in real time.
In India, Vyommitra, a female humanoid robot, is set to launch on an uncrewed spaceflight in December 2020. The robot is scheduled to conduct microgravity experiments to help prepare for future crewed missions.
Humanoid robots are here to stay and over time, with AI making progress, we might soon find them everywhere in our daily lives. Humanoid robots are one of the craziest buzzes in the robotic industry, at present. These robots look exactly like humans. However, their behavior still needs some improvement to completely resemble a human being, but these improvements might be soon achieved in the coming future with increasing developments in Artificial Intelligence.