Are We Ready for Humanoid Robots and Digital Humans?

Humanoid Robots
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Several years back, the popular robots people know are battery-powered toys that many children want to have. But many people do not know that several industries, particularly the manufacturing and engineering sectors, are using robotics that facilitate their production processes.

Robots are considered machines and they are capable of performing complex movements automatically. They have sensors, actuators and controllers. Many are remotely controlled by human operators, although most of the modern ones are autonomous, with computers partially or fully controlling their actions. Majority of the robot forms are created to conform to their purpose.

We’ve seen many human-like robots in several science fiction movies, and some of them look eerie and frightening because they are just like humans. Before, many people say that you only see them in movies, but today, we know that they already exist and many are used in different fields.

Digital humans and robotic humanoids

Artificial intelligence or AI continues to mature, and its maturity corresponds to the sophisticated growth in humanoid robots and the various applications of digital human beings. They have so many uses, and it is safe to assume that we will see more of them. You may have heard of Erica, the first fully autonomous artificially intelligent actor that will star in a $70 Million sci-fi movie in Hollywood. Erica is the creation of Hiroshi Ishiguro, from Osaka University in Japan. They can learn. The android star received acting lessons for more than two years and continues to rehearse while waiting for the completion of the cast of human actors.

Leonardo Da Vinci created the earliest form of humanoid in 1495. It was a mechanical armored suite that could walk, sit and stand. Today’s humanoids are powered by artificial intelligence, and they can move, talk, listen, and reply. Many are modeled after beautiful human beings, and they have assigned gender terms as well. A male humanoid is an android, while a female one is a gynoid.

1. Humanoid robots 

Robots make life easier for many people, and they can perform activities that humans find difficult to do. Some of them help and care for patients and the elderly. Aside from the humanoids, several more robots are in development, to be used for different purposes.

Atlas, called the most dynamic humanoid in the world, can jump and do backflips. It will be used for rescue and search missions.

Ocean One, a bimanual underwater humanoid, will be used for deep-sea research and studies of coral reefs.

The bipedal Petman is created to test biological and chemical suits for the U.S. military. It is capable of simulating human physiology to test the special clothing soldiers will wear to protect them against chemical agents.

Robear is a big humanoid robot that resembles a cute bear cartoon character. Despite its name, Robear is a gentle and friendly robot designed to provide nursing care for the elderly.  

Sophia is a humanoid robot capable of conducting conversations and exhibit facial expressions like humans. Sophia is the United Nations Development Program’s Innovation Ambassador.

Digital Humans
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2. Digital human beings

Digital human beings are digitized versions of humans. They are photorealistic renditions of virtual individuals that most people know as avatars. They look and act like human beings and powered by AI. They are created to have conversations, sympathize, and interact with humans. Digital human beings can provide concierge or customer service. There are digital performers, such as Japan’s AKB48 band. Some creators are coming up with AI hosts for news and special events. Companies are also employing digital human beings, such as digital fashion models of H&M.

Artificial Talent Co. is behind Miquela, an AI social influencer, who has 1.3 million followers on Instagram.

Digital humans and humanoids will feature more in the future, and some people are thinking about the effects of digital immortality. They have varied applications, and we cannot discount the fact that humanoid robots are not used for caregiving, personal assistance, entertainment, healthcare, education, manufacturing, search and rescue, public relations and maintenance.