Whenever we think of AI, we are programmed to imagine a robot having mechanical parts, moving around, and giving pre-fed replies.
Thinking about robots, our imagination also reaches out to the robots shown in Hollywood and Bollywood movies.
However, seldom do we know or investigate where AI has reached these days, what actually is happening in the robotics world and what different kinds of robots have been invented.
Humanoid robots, a kind of robots that are built to closely resemble the human body, are a hot topic in AI these days.
This blog post aims to brief you about humanoid robots, what their different types are, which humanoid robots are available these days and some frequently asked questions about them.
So, let’s dig deep into this and find out something interesting about humanoid robots.
What are Humanoid Robots?
Primarily, humanoid robots are robots invented to look like humans.
In the most basic sense, humanoid robots are created to resemble the human body.
The shape of the body of a humanoid robot, it’s appearance, and overall build looks like that of a human.
Like humans they have a torso, a head, arms and legs. Sometimes they have a face, eyes and a mouth too.
However, the above is not a generalized standard because some forms of humanoid robots may have only part of the body.
How much a humanoid robot looks like a human depends on the purpose it’s being designed for and the functionality we expect them to have.
Types Of Humanoid Robots
Primarily we can classify humanoid robots in two categories, based on their gender. Male humanoid robots are called Androids while the female ones are termed gynoids.
Humanoid Robots of 2021
Termed “the world’s most dynamic humanoid”, Atlas was created to assist humans with dangerous search and rescue missions.
This bipedal humanoid robot was developed by the renowned American robotics company Boston Dynamics, with funding and oversight from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Atlas was introduced to the world in 2013, but it was only in 2017 that its actual powers and capabilities were brought to light.
Atlas is 1.8-meter (6 ft) high and can perform amazing backflips. It can jump from a platform to another as impressively as a human can.
The humanoid has undergone a lot of changes and updates over the years.
On September 24, 2019, yet another update video was released in which Atlas was shown performing something similar to a floor routine in gymnastics.
Watch Atlas in Action..
Developed by a HongKong based company – Hanson Robotics, Sophia can see, follow faces, sustain contact, and identify individuals like human beings.
Sophia was turned on for the first time in February 2016. After a month, she was presented to the world for the first time.
Using a natural language subsystem, Sophia, the social humanoid, can also have conversations and be helpful in healthcare and customer service.
To test her capabilities, Sophia was interviewed pretty much like a human being, and she fared really well.
Sophia is considered one of the most “human-like” robots developed ever. This can primarily be attributed to her physical appearance and the ability to have human-like expressions.
An interesting fact about Sophia is that she is the world’s first robot citizen ever! Did you know that? 😉
3. Little Sophia
Sophia, the robot, has a younger sister as well!
Little Sophia, developed by Hanson Robotics, is a humanoid that’s pretty much like Sophia and is expected to be available for delivery to customers in 2020.
The most recent entrant in the Hanson Robotics family, Little Sophia is 14” tall.
She makes learning STEM, coding, and Artificial Intelligence fun and easy and is a great companion for kids older than 8 years.
She is a lot like a child and can walk, talk, and tell funny jokes.
The programmable, educational companion for kids offers a safe learning experience with robots.
4. Nadine Social Robot
Created in 2013 by Kokoro, Japan, Nadine is a female humanoid social robot having a head, full-body, including skin, hair, and hands that look quite like humans.
Nadine interacts with arm movements, can simulate emotions and answer questions in multiple languages. Also, it can recognise anyone it saw earlier.
The humanoid has participated in live on-stage demos and has interacted with people a lot.
A school of thought believes that Nadine could just be the ideal personal coach or receptionist with a few updates.
5. Robotic Avatar
Next on the list is the T-HR3. This robot can easily copy all the movements of its operators.
Although the humanoid was initially introduced by Toyota in 2017, it was updated later for the Tokyo Olympics.
The updated model features better controls and can walk more naturally, less mechanically.
The humanoid was designed with a vision to have a helping hand during surgeries with doctors remotely controlling them.
The utility and functionality of the humanoid suggests that it can also come in handy for those who need a caretaker.
6. Rashmi Robot
Rashmi is a humanoid robot capable of speaking multiple languages. She can confidently converse in English, Hindi, Bhojpuri, and Marathi.
Launched in August 2018 after two years of work, Rashmi was a hobby project for its creator Ranjit Shrivastava, a programmer from Jharkhand, India.
She puts visual data, linguistic interpretation systems, and AI to use to interact with people.
Besides lip-syncing and moving her neck, Rashmi can efficiently give facial, lips, eyes and eyebrow expressions.
She believes in God and loves South-Indian superstar Rajnikanth. If given a chance, she would like to do a movie with the star as well.
TALOS was launched in 2017 by PAL Robotics.
This bipedal humanoid robot is totally torque-controllable and is quite a pleasure to work with.
TALOS was created keeping the heavy industry load in mind, thus the payload of 6 kilograms, with each arm fully extended. No wonder it is being called the future of the factories!
Apart from that, the fully customizable robot has also found applications in IoT, rescue, space exploration and many other fields.
Han is an expressive humanoid robot activated in 2015. It made its debut in the same year at the Global Sources Electronics Fair in Hong Kong.
This “spookily” realistic humanoid robot is developed by Hanson Robotics with a primary focus to serve. The purpose of Han’s life is to help people find contentment.
Han makes use of multiple cameras and voice recognition technology to see who’s in front of him and converse with them.
He feels extremely happy when he helps people understand that they all can live together in peace.
Han can display a lot of facial expressions, his face is covered by a strong flesh-like rubber called “frubber”.
9. Surena IV
The fourth-generation humanoid robot in a series of Iranian humanoid robots, Surena IV was unveiled officially in December 2019.
The adult size robot is capable of both upper and lower body movements along with interactions with a host and speech.
It can move on uneven surfaces, is capable of object and face detection along with object and face follow. It’s able to write, drill and perform some exhibitive actions as well.
Surena IV has advanced features when compared to the previous three models in the series and offers better performance and reliability. It is 1.7 meters tall with a mass of 68 kilograms.
Kime is a humanoid robot bartender, capable of serving you one beer in 23 seconds.
The humanoid robot to serve food and beverages has been brought to life by Seville, Spain-based Macco Robotics.
It is about 2 sq m, has a head and torso with arms which it uses to pour drinks.
Kime is capable of aligning the glass at right angles for properly pouring the beer. And, it does it quite fast as it serves approximately 300 glasses per hour.
When Will Humanoid Robots Be Available?
Well, the answer to when humanoid robots will be available is subjective.
Humanoid robots actually are available today for sale but they are way too expensive and you may not be available to purchase them until you are too rich.
Also, research is still going on on these robots and it would still take some years, probably five to ten, for them to have functionality useful for our day-to-day operations.
You may check thirteen advanced humanoid robots for sale here though.
What is Sophia Robot Used for?
Sophia is the first robot citizen of the world and is capable of displaying humanlike expressions. She can also have real conversations with people and is a social robot.
Sophia was exclusively designed for helping us with research, education, and entertainment.
How Much is Sophia the Robot?
Sophia is not available for sale, but you can pre-order her younger sister Little Sophia here.
Little Sophia can cost you anything between $99 and $149, depending on when you place the order.
Citing the severe complexity of the human mind, it’s difficult to completely decipher the way it functions.
Likewise, it’s not easy to create a robot that resembles humans, thinks like the human brain and is capable of making decisions on its own.
Probably, decades ago, we couldn’t think of creating a robot that resembles humans in a lot of ways.
But, today we are talking about humanoid robots that employ sensors and actuators and have features resembling parts of the human body.
Technology has actually taken some giant steps and left us like “WOW! Who even thought this was possible?”!
With the advancement of AI and further research, we expect that in the coming years, we’d have an affordable model capable of assisting us in our day-to-day operations and transform our lives beyond imagination.