With the faster rate of technological advancements and emergence of international players in the technological market, there has been a boost in the field of Robotics. Extensive developments in the field of Artificial Intelligence, increase in commercial investment, an emergence of international players, reduction in hardware cost and popularity of the existing robots are significant signs that indicate the field of Robotics is going through major transformation and development. In this post, we will learn about the capabilities of Humanoid Robots.
What is a Humanoid Robot?
Humanoid may be defined as something that resembles or looks like a human being and has certain human characteristics. In the present era of Technological development and advancements, Humanoid is being implemented in Robotics and these robots are called as “HUMANOID ROBOTS “.
A humanoid robot is a robot which has a similar shape as that of a human body. In general, a humanoid robot has a torso, a head, two arms, and two legs. These robots vary depending upon the material they are made of and the design. Generally, humanoid robots come in three variations small sized humanoids, medium sized humanoids, and large sized Humanoids. Some humanoids may also have a face, eyes, mouth and are categorized as male humanoids and female humanoids. The purpose of such robots may vary depending upon its biomechanics, functional capacity, production cost and complexity involved.
What are Humanoid Robots made of?
Though an extensive research is necessary before building a personal robot with anthropomorphic features that is accessible and appealing to the general user. To make the robot behave like a human being, sensors play a big role. The use of sensors in robotics has taken them to the new heights of creativity. Most importantly, the sensors have increased the performance of robots to a large extent. These sensors allow robots to perform various intellectual functions like a human being does making it unique. The present technology is able to offer many solutions to the different issues that generate regularly in the development of actuators and sensors, which are key factors in the achievement of the final goal in Robotics.
Different types of sensors used in the present day robots are
- Proprioceptive sensors: for sensing position, speed, and orientation
- Proximity sensor: to detect the presence of nearby objects
- Range sensor: to measure distances
- Tilt sensors: to measure inclination
- Accelerometers: to measure the acceleration
Such advanced humanoid robots are capable of multiple activities that are mere reflexes of a human being and do not require high intellectual efforts. These robots are fully automated as they can adapt to its surroundings and continue with its direction or command. Depending upon the size and weight, these robots have the capability of self-maintenance and an advanced feature of autonomous learning, thus they avoid harmful situations to people, property and themselves.
An advanced humanoid robot categorized as Android has human-like-behavior. It can talk like a human being in a computerized voice, run, jump or even climb stairs in a very similar way as a human being does. These humanoids perform a variety of jobs ranging from complex factory jobs to household solutions.
Some of the advanced Humanoid Robots available in the market are:
- Sophia: Sophia is a very popular super advanced humanoid robot which was introduced in 2016 to mimic social behaviour and emotions in human. Sophia represents the State of the Art artificial intelligence. Sophia the robot is capable of showing over 60 different human expressions. She can easiliy interact with human and she has already appeared in many public interviews. On October 11, 2017, Sophia became the first robot to get citizenship of any country after the kingdom of Saudi Arabia granted the citizenship. Sophia is very active in social media with more than 135k followers on Twitter and 85k followers on Facebook. Take a look at the following video of well known actor, Will Smith going on a date with Sophia the robot.
- DARwln-OP (ROBOTICS OP) – it is created at Virginia Tech’s Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory (RoMeLa) in collaboration with Purdue University, University of Pennsylvania and Korean manufacturer ROBOTIS. This Humanoid can be used for household purposes, built with the main aim of education and research.
- DARwln Mini (ROBOTICS Mini) – DARwIn Mini is a very lightweight robot and it is much smaller humanoid robot kit that aims at makers and hobbyists. The 27cm (10.6 inch) tall robot is completely open source and the parts of this robot are 3D printable, which makes this an ideal and cost-effective development platform.
- NAO Evolution – it is developed by French company Aldebaran Robotics which was released in 2014. This 58cm tall robot has 25 DOF and is packed with very distinctive kinds of sensors such as tactile sensors, sonar, and pressure, not to mention cameras and other standard equipment, being able to perform highly complex motions and tasks.
- Pepper – it is a cute faced humanoid robot designed by Aldebaran in collaboration with Japanese communications giant SoftBank. The robot is designed in such a way which delivers high-level human interaction, therefore featuring few high-tech capabilities. The robot is equipped with a highly cloud-backed voice recognition engine that has the capacity to identify not only speech but also expressions, tonality and subtle variations in the human voice. The robot has the capability to absorb from its interactions, information about the environment and humans interacting with it are provided with the help of its 25 sensors and cameras.
- Romeo – it is a cute-faced character from plastic and metal with a height of 143 cm. This is under the process of continuous development and advancement with new features being added as we speak. Romeo is fully customizable according to people need. The idea of developing a robot that helps people with requiring physical aid or providing health solutions is not new, but Romeo is one of a kind in robotics built specially for these tasks. Besides the care shown to people, it can be a real family member. It can have a conversation or even work in the kitchen, or it can also empty the garbage. The interaction between people and Romeo is done in a natural way using words or gestures.
- UBTECH Alpha 1S – An intelligent humanoid robot is up for sale on Amazon. It can demonstrate yoga moves, exercise moves, kung fu moves, dancing moves etc. Alpha 1S is highly flexible and can move just like a human. Alpha 1S can be controlled easily through Android OS or IOS app via Bluetooth 4.0.
A few years ago there was only experimental research in humanoid robotics mainly in the field of the automobile industry, whereas now with a faster rate of development humanoid robots are used in many fields varying from medical to transport, industrial to recreation. There has been a boom in the demand of these humanoids as they make the human task or effort even simpler, works can now be done within limited time thus saving human effort.
Humanoid robotics is an emerging and challenging research field, which has received significant attention during the past decade, researchers are striving to increase the functional capacities so that these humanoids can be used in various fields apart from heavy industries. They are continuously studying human mechanism in order to simplify the interaction between robots and human being. These humanoids will surely continue to play a significant role in robotics research as it is a futuristic concept.
What Krazytech thinks about Humanoid Robots?
When we consider the aggressive progress in the field of Technology, we can predict the future of Humanoid Robots as a complete replacement for most of human being’s day-to-day activities. The humanoid robots would be able to drive us home, help in housekeeping, prepare food for us, help children to put on clothes etc. The factors like use of expensive sensors, rust-free hardware, advanced programming have made these robots much expensive to be affordable for many people.
Apart from easing our work, there is something else to think about. The Humanoid robots can pull away many jobs of common people. Already in the field of construction, we see people replaced with field robots for various activities. Microsoft co-founder and world’s richest man Bill Gates recently mentioned that the companies which replace employees with robots should pay extra taxes so that government can invest this amount for unemployed.
In the recent past, we have come across many revolutionary technologies like driverless cars, Electric cars, Flying Cars, 5G Technology (yet to come) likewise we can think of Humanoid Robots as a game changer.