Artificial Intelligence and Humanoid Robots

Artificial intelligence and humanoid robots are the right combination for futuristic AI services

Artificial intelligence is unarguably the most exciting field in robotics. And humanoid robots are one of the most popular forms of AI. They have even been portrayed in several Hollywood movies. There is no doubt that a robot can perform in an assembly line, but there is no consensus on whether it can ever be intelligent like humans. In some way, today’s AI machines are able to replicate some specific elements of intellectual ability and are outpacing human experts in several areas, specifically in the diagnosis of critical diseases like cancer.

Initially, the prime objective of AI for humanoids was for research purposes. They were utilized for research on how to create better prosthetics for humans. But now, humanoids are being built for several purposes beyond research. They are developed to perform a wide range of human tasks and reside in different roles in the employment sector. Some of the roles they could take are that of personal assistants, receptionists, and front desk officers, among others.

The process of creating a humanoid robot is quite complex and requires a lot of work and research into the process. Most of the time, developers and engineers face crucial challenges, too. In this regard, first-grade sensors and actuators are imperative and a small mistake could result in glitches. With the assistance of certain features like sensors and actuators, humanoids move, talk, and carry out actions effectively.

Not all humanoids resemble humans as some are modeled after only some specific human parts such as the human head. Humanoid robots are typically either Androids – a humanoid robots designed to resemble a male human, or Gynoids – who look like female humans. They work through certain features, as well as they have sensors assisting them in sensing their surrounding environments. They also have cameras that allow them to see clearly and motors that are placed at strategic points to guide them in moving and making gestures. These motors are usually referred to as actuators.

For humanoid robots to become as intelligent as human beings, they will have to be instilled with the ability to comprehend natural human language, known as natural language processing (NLP). As the development of humanoids is still in its embryonic phase, a lot of work and research is required to make these robots mimic humans.

Humanoid Robots – Applications and Influences to the Real World

Humanoids have been assisting humankind in various capacities, widely leveraged in the domain of Healthcare, Education, and Entertainment, among others. As we have mentioned earlier that these robots are used for various purposes alongside researchers, their applications have commonly been categorized into healthcare, education, and social humanoid robots.

Healthcare humanoid robots are designed and used by individuals at home or healthcare centers to treat and improve patients’ medical conditions. These robots either require a human controller or are pre-programmed to aid patients. Conversely, educational humanoid robots are mainly aimed at and equipped for students. They are used in education centers or homes to advance education quality and bolster involvement in studies. These robots are typically but not always manually controlled robots.

For instance, Aldebaran Robotics’ Nao, a small 2-inch-tall humanoid robot, is used globally by universities as a research platform and educational tool. Nao has become the face of social robotics and has also replaced Sony’s Aibo robot dog and has become the standard platform for the Robocup.

Social humanoid robots are utilized by individuals or organizations to assist people in their daily life activities. These robots are commonly pre-programmed to perform mundane and tedious tasks. For instance, in 2014, Softbank Robotics launched Pepper, which swiftly became the leading commercially available social robot. Pepper was rolled out in Softbank’s mobile stores in Japan and since then, it has been used in Carrefour and Renault stores across France.

Humanoids are even used for customer engagement roles, equipped with advanced facial recognition, emotion recognition, and speech recognition capabilities. These robots provide a playbook for customer engagement and can be seen as an evolutionary step from self-service kiosks to conversational commerce, coalescing the two in smart and unique ways.

Besides healthcare and education, retail, financial services, travel and hospitality, aerospace, and quick service restaurants are also well-positioned to capitalize on humanoid robots. Airbus, for instance, in collaboration with researchers from Joint Robotics Laboratory (JRL), reportedly began developing humanoid robots for its factories to take over several monotonous, hazardous and intricate tasks that will free up skilled human workers for higher-valued jobs.

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