Says Sophia touring her lab in Hong Kong: can For robots Social like me takes care of the sick or the elderly, and I can help with communication, offering therapy and providing social stimulation, even in difficult situations.
Since it was unveiled in 2016, Sophia – the humanoid robot – has become famous, and the company behind it now has a new vision of mass producing robots by the end of the year.
Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics said: Factories are starting to roll out four models, including Sophia, In the first half of 2021, just as researchers expect the epidemic will open up new opportunities for the robotics industry.
Founder and CEO (David Hanson) David Hanson, standing surrounded by robot heads in his lab, said: The Corona scientist needs more and more automation to keep people safe.
Hanson believes robotic solutions to the pandemic are not limited to healthcare, but they could help customers in industries such as retail and airlines as well.
He added: Sophia’s robots are unique in being human-like, and that can be very helpful during these times when people are terribly socially isolated.
Hanson said: It aims to sell thousands of robots in 2021, large and small, without providing a specific number.
Johan Hoorn, a professor of social robotics, whose research included working with Sophia, said that although technology is still relatively in its infancy, the epidemic could accelerate the relationship between humans and robots.
“We can conclude that the epidemic is helping us get robots to the market earlier because people start to realize that there is no other way,” said Horn from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
This year Hanson Robotics releases a robot called Grace, which has been developed for the healthcare industry.
Products from other big players in the industry are helping the fight the pandemic as well, as SoftBank Robotics’ Pepper robot has been deployed to detect people who don’t wear masks.
CloudMinds, a robotics company in China, helped establish a field hospital run by a robot during the outbreak of the Corona virus in Wuhan.
The use of robots was on the rise before the epidemic, and according to a report by the International Federation of Robotics, global sales of professional service robots jumped 32 percent to $ 11.2 billion between 2018 and 2019.