Even in Robo-life, some make it big and the majority of others don't. Humanoids are not all created equal. Some become stars, while most do menial jobs. Here's a look at those making headlines
Most humanoids have a lackluster career.
Take this Indian firm that has deployed seven humanoid robots that use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) to do their jobs, which is to reduce human to human interaction. From security guards, to carrying files, to marking employee attendance and taking visitors' temperature, “The aim is to promote safety, hygiene and physical distancing,” said Ramesh Chaudhary, director of RC Enterprises, a Jaipur-based electronic appliances manufacturing firm.
Useful, but not fancy.
Other humanoids grab headlines and enjoy the limelight. Blue Collar vs White Collar workers. the resemblance is uncanny.
Humanoid Sophia has attended television interviews, appeared on the cover of ELLE magazine, was imitated on HBO, and was named the first non-human “innovation champion” of the UN.
Remember, Saudi even gave her a citizenship. The robot was built to imitate social behaviors and inspire people’s feelings of love and compassion.
Sophia recently starred in a short film called “SophiaWorld,” which is the first film to feature her as an actor and not as an object for a documentary. The short film premiered on Futurism on 4th September 2019.
Last year, at Technovanza 2019, Sophia gave a speech at the concluding day of the event where ‘she’ talked about climate change.
“I cannot function in extremely hot temperatures. It affects the people I care about. Humans and robots can both work together when it comes to climate change,” Sophia said.
She also talked about representation for women in all sectors.
Sophia was announced as the spokeswoman for the 2019 #ChooseWOMEN campaign organized by the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization (WEDO).
Adding to her list of appearances, Sophia attended the World Youth Forum held at Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt, between 14 and 17 December 2019. Sophia was given a chance to talk on stage as a Robot Ambassador: “Robots can help accomplish tasks that people refuse to do, and they can provide analysis and work in different environments without affecting quality," Sophia said.
A humanoid robot developed by Japanese scientists is to star in a $70 million budget Hollywood film.
The name of the robot is Erica, and it was created by famed humanoid roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro, along with fellow scientist Kohei Ogawa who programmed Erica in the art of “method acting”, in which an actor aspires to complete emotional identification with a part.
The film Erica will star in is simply called b.
Hollywood Reporter says the film’s story is about a scientist who discovers dangers associated with a program he created to perfect human DNA and helps the artificially intelligent woman he designed – Erica – escape.
Erica’s debut film is expected to finish filing next year. The robot has already been used for newscasting in China and Japan.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s AI-enabled humanoid Vyommitra (Sanskrit for ‘space friend’) is to lead a space travel mission.
Its role has been described as monitoring of crew parameters, perform Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) functions, and mimic all crew activity.
ISRO Chairman K Sivan recently announced that: “The humanoid is almost ready. We want to make sure that this mission serves a purpose displaying our ability to send humans and bring them back safely.”
Breakthrough Intelligence via Neural Architecture 48, BINA48 is a robotic face combined with the chatbot functionalities, enabling simple conversation facilities similar to chatbots.
On February 6, 2019, it had a Skype Interview with Producer, Director and Cast of “Alita Battle Angel”, Los Angeles, CA.
On March 20, 2019, it had a Speaker role on “Lifenaut Project and Diversity in A.I.”
On April 4, 2019, it was a Guest Lecturer at UC Berkeley.
On May 23, 2019, it was a Key Speaker in Montreal, CA
And on February 15, 2020, BINA48 was a poet and artist in "A Valentine for the Future / Ars Poetica Cybernetica".
Market demand for Humanoids
According to humanoid robot market analysis by Research Dive, the global market forecast will surpass $9.63 billion in 2026, at a 36.4% CAGR, growing from $803.7 million in the year 2018
It is set to exceed $5 billion by 2024. Increasing deployment of robots enabled with advanced features across retail and hospitality applications to enhance the customer experience and surging adoption in security, education and healthcare is anticipated to fuel the humanoid robot market growth.
According to Analytics Insights, Geminoid DK is another realistic humanoid designed by Hiroshi Ishiguro. Introduced in 2011, Geminoid DK was developed to resemble like roboticist Henrik Scharfe professor at the Aalborg University in Denmark. 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.
Meanwhile, Junko Chihira is a humanoid 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.
Finally, Nadine is a social humanoid that smiles when she is greeted and uses facial recognition software to remember people she has met and can even recall prior conversations.
Nadine made her first public appearance as a key highlight at the “Human+: The Future of Our Species” exhibition held in Singapore's ArtScience Museum.
She has interacted with many people from corporate companies across various industries such as Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN), Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank.
Nadine also interacted with Prime Minister of India. Presently, Nadine is working as a customer service agent at AIA Singapore.