Humanoid Robots


via Wikimedia Commons

Poppy, the humanoid robot

Recently, advances in technology has allowed companies to design machines called humanoid robots. These robots are built with a human like body shape and are now even capable of having their own thoughts. These machines have various purposes. Some merely exist to challenge the knowledge of humans and others take a role in helping the economy, but some are beginning to take on the characteristics of people and are developing their own thoughts and emotions.

An example of a humanoid robot is Pepper, who was created by the SoftBank company. He was bought by the British Council for 20,000 euros, about 23,650 dollars, and is now used as a ‘carebot’. Currently, he is helping dementia patients and children with learning difficulties. Pepper communicates through videos and sensory games and he is capable of moving around on his own. He speaks 12 different languages and is able to recognize faces, voices, and even emotions. He is also able to adjust the tone of his voice and the color of his eyes to match the emotion of the human he is with. Although these types of carebots are mostly used in Japan, it has made its first appearance in Britain and are expected to show up more often in the near future.   

Another example of a humanoid robot is Sophia, who was created by Hanson Robotics. She is categorized as a companion robot because she was designed to be a friend for those who feel lonely, ill, or bored. However, she gets stumped by random questions and is not capable of having an everyday conversation. Surprisingly, she is able to think for herself and even her creators do not know what she is thinking. Although her speech is said to sound scripted, her creators are working to make her become the perfect companion for patients at hospitals, children at schools, and to be an inspirational figure for students. Aside from her communication skills, her physical appearance takes on that of an actual human being. Her skin is made of rubber that allows her to create facial expressions like the rest of us. She raises her eyebrows when she is taken by surprise and she is able to show her happiness through a big smile. The fact that Sophia is able to think for herself and show her emotions demonstrates how far humanity has gone with technology.

As technology keeps advancing, humanoid robots are taking on more of the characteristics of humans. They are beginning to become capable of having their own thoughts and emotions. As an effect, humanoid robots are taking roles in shaping the world.