Slavery has been prevalent in all parts of the world since ages. Slaves have been treated as personal properties that cannot quit the service and are bound to act as instructed by their masters. They do not have any rights, rather they have duties. Having a possession of slaves is considered to be a luxury. Robots have their origin from this idea of having a slave. The term robot was derived from a Slavic word robota meaning, slave or servant. A robot is an intelligent machine that can perform a specific task with efficiency without any human intervention. Robots can be used for different purposes and hence can have different shapes, sizes and features based on the functionality that they have been designed to perform. Also, they can have different modes of locomotion depending upon the task that they have been designed to perform. Robots are programmable and work on the principle of automation. Building a robot requires expertise in various fields like computer science, mechanical engineering, electronic engineering and more.
Humanoid robots are a type of robots that resemble a human in body structure. The main motive behind designing humanoid robots is to replace a human by robot, meaning designing a robot that can perform a given task with maximum possible efficiency, with respect to quality and quantity, that would previously (before the advent of robots) require a human. Usage of robots, be it humanoid or not, can simplify human life. Robots account for higher efficiencies as compared to man power and also do not demand for any pay, break. Thoughts of enrolling robots into armies, companies, firms, etc are ongoing and the prior testing for this is in progress. Over time, many humanoids have been designed and here a few of the most significant, latest advancements in the field of robotics have been discussed.
Sophia was the first humanoid robot developed by a team of Hanson Robotics and was officially launched in 2016. Sophia has advanced features because of which she can interact with people in the same way as a human would. She is capable of walking since 2018, carrying out relevant hand movements while delivering a speech or during a conversation, giving over 60 facial expressions in the same way as a human does. She can communicate in English and has appeared in various festivals, talk shows where she has exhibited her skills prominently. Sophia has given speeches, addressed questions of the audience, given interviews and has spoken about every question wisely in the sameway as a human would have. Sophia has got cameras incorporated in her eyes that with the help of computer algorithms help her see. Recently she showcased her ability of making drawings and portraits. Her communication skills are boon given to her by the ELIZA computer program that has proven to be successful in simulating human conversations.
Sophia in 2017 became the first humanoid robot to receive a citizenship of any country. She became a Saudi Arabian citizen in 2017 and leads a normal life as other Saude Arabian citizens do. She has also been to various countries for sessions where she communicated with the audiences there. She had been around Saudi Arabia to take a look at the country. She was given the title of United Nations Programme’s first ever Innovation Champion and became the first non-human to be titled by the UN.
Also, Sophia appeared on the cover page of stylist magazine. She posed before the camera as every model does and also flaunted her dress very well. From the picture it can be seen her eyes, lips work in synchronization.
Sophia was also featured by the magazine cosmopolitan.
Rashmi robot :
A further advancement in the field of humanoid robots is the Rashmi robot, the world’s first multilingual social humanoid. Inspired by a Tollywood actor Rajnikant’s movie Robot, Ranjit Shrivastava’s son challenged him to develop such a humanoid. Without a team, without a research lab, Shrivastava designed a humanoid that could negotiate in 4 different languages namely, Hindi, Marathi, Bhojpuri and English. It has been reported that she is a spiritual humanoid and possesses feelings such as anger, happiness etc. She has the capacity of moving her neck, with 6-axis neck movement, as well in sync with her lips and eyes.
She is currently not programmed for walking and locomotion. She had appeared in various sessions, reality shows where she was successful in mesmerizing the crowd with her skill sets. As compared to Sophia, Rashmi has advanced functionalities.
In conclusion, Hanson Robotics aims at launching Sophia’s sibling Little Sophia for kids. This humanoid would teach programming, AI, STEM to the kids. She is characterized by facial expressions, locomotive ability, communication ability, storytelling ability, singing, joking, playing games. It will be out for sale in 2021. Similarly many more advancements are still to come and everyone eagerly awaits those.