Humanoid Robots or technology that replicates human behaviour, emotions and expressions is the new trend gripping business and society. Business enterprises are loosening their purse strings (read increasing investments) to win the race to develop the coolest Humanoid. To create the “perfect” humanoid robot, organisations are spending on technologies that enable machines to exhibit three fundamental human qualities: Look, Movements, and Human Behaviour.
Technology has taken giant steps to build humanoid robots that leave us with a wow! However, to develop humanoid that are indistinguishable from biological humans will take more efforts but that does not mean we are not trying. Here are 6 coolest humanoid robots that are closer to achieving the futuristic milestone.
Sophia is Dr. David Hanson’s creation, who is the founder of Hanson Robotics. Since its launch, Sophia has become a media favourite; the humanoid has featured on major media news worldwide and has attracted public attention regardless of age, gender, and culture. Sophia has even appeared on the cover of Elle and Cosmopolitan, the top fashion magazines.
Sophia is a highly sought-after speaker at business conclaves and has met face-to-face with key decision-makers in banking, insurance, property development, auto manufacturing, media, and entertainment. In addition, Sophia has appeared as a panel member and presenter in high-level conferences. Sophia is named as the world’s first United Nation Innovation Champion. The Humanoid has been honoured by this unique feat by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the robot will have an official role with the UNDP to promote sustainable development. In the future, Sophia and the UNDP will work towards safeguarding human rights and promoting equality.
2. Junko Chihira
Described as a trilingual android, Junko Chihira is a humanoid under development at Toshiba. Junko Chihira is armed with incredible interaction skills, and ability to make human-like facial expressions. Junko Chihira currently works at a tourist information centre on Tokyo’s waterfront, greeting visitors in Japanese, English, and Chinese and interacting with them through a keyboard.
Toshiba’s speech synthesis technology is behind Junko Chihira’s trilingual skills and further, developers aim to give her speech recognition technology. Armed with speech recognition technology, Junko Chihira will be able to respond to questions asked by the tourists at Tokyo’s waterfront.
3 . Erica
Erica is created by Hiroshi Ishiguro who is the director of Intelligent Robotics Laboratory at Osaka University, Japan. Erica is designed to interact naturally with her human companions, as the humanoid is able to integrate multiple skills like voice recognition, human tracking, and natural motion generation. Erica is powered to move her face, neck, shoulder, and waist. Erica speaks with a synthesized voice and can interact by making several facial expressions and gestural movements.
4. Geminoid DK
Geminoid DK is another realistic humanoid designed by Hiroshi Ishiguro, and it’s an effort to conquer the uncanny valley. Introduced in 2011, Geminoid DK was developed to resemble like roboticist Henrik Scharfe professor at the Aalborg University in Denmark. The costs incurred to design and build Geminoid DK was $200,000. Geminoid DK is a hyper-realistic robot employed to study human emotional responses that comes after seeing an android that looks just like a real person.
Nadine is developed at the Nanyang Technological University Singapore. The humanoid integrates artificial intelligence and uses natural hand gestures and head movements when she is conversing. Designed to replicate human expressions, Nadine’s mouth moves when she talks (however, not that well).
Nadine has been developed to look like Nadia Magnenat Thalmann head of MIRALab at the University of Geneva. Nadine smiles when she is greeted and holds a conversation eye to eye of the human speaker, she uses facial recognition software to remember people she has met and can even recall prior conversations. Incredibly social, Nadine can be happy or sad after what is being communicated and express her own distinct personality and emotions while communicating.
6. Jia Jia
Jia Jia, is developed after three years of research by a Chinese team headed by Chen Xiaoping at the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei. The interactive humanoid, Jia Jia can move her arms, create different facial expressions, and answer to human conversations. The humanoid looks fairly realistic, with a flexible plastic face and long flowing brown hair. While development, the researchers paid an extra attention to her eye movements and lip synchronisation. Jia Jia is programmed to offer robotic services based on cloud technology. The incredibly human Jia Jia has natural eye movement, lip movement sync speech and refers to its male creators as ‘lords’ while interaction.