LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The coronavirus pandemic has created new uses for robots and some are becoming more lifelike than ever.
Sophia, an android unveiled in 2016, can now carry on a conversation, has a range of emotional facial expressions and can offer a high five.READ MORE: Animal Cruelty Charges May Be Sought After Severely Neglected English Bulldog Puppy Found At Coachella Property Dies
“Social robots like me can help take care of the sick or elderly,” Sophia said as she recently conducted a tour of her lab in Hong Kong for Reuters. “I will take your temperature and pulse with this thermal camera on my chest.”
The humanoid robot even made news recently when a digital artwork she created in collaboration with 31-year-old Italian artist Andrea Bonaceto sold for nearly $700,000 in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT).
The piece, titled “Sophia Instantiation,” is a 12-second MP4 video file showing the evolution of Bonaceto’s portrait into Sophia’s digital painting. It’s accompanied by a physical piece Sophia painted on a printout of her self-portrait.
Sophia is also branching out as a musician. She’s working on several musical works in a project called Sophia Pop, where she collaborates with human musicians to generate music and lyrics, Hanson says.READ MORE: Sean Penn Refuses To Return To Set Unless Crew Fully Vaccinated
“Now we have begun scaling the manufacturing of Sophia so we can make hundreds and into thousands of units,” says David Hanson, CEO of Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics.
But Hanson, who has been developing robots for the past two and a half decades, says he’s not planning to create more robotic artists. Instead, his machines are being designed to assist people in industries such as health care and education.
“Sophia is the culmination of a lot of arts, and engineering, and the idea that she could then generate art was a way for her to emotionally and visually connect with people,” Hanson tells the Associated Press.
Artificial Intelligence Robotics are being utilized across the globe in new ways during the COVID-19 pandemic — from disinfecting public areas to delivering food in a restaurant. But there’s a new focus on lifelike features.
The Russian company Promobot have created robots that work alongside their human counterparts in customer service at a government office in the city of Perm, responding to voice commands and help process applications. The machines cost upwards of $42,000.MORE NEWS: Remains Found In Ballona Wetlands ID’d As Missing Woman Kolby Story
One customer says it was a bit scary when the robots blinked, but it’s generally cool.