DYK (Did You Know): Robo Tech is on the Rise

What’s trending in the tech world in 2018? Robotic advancement certainly takes the cake.

Perhaps you’ve heard of Sophia, the first “social” robot who recently received citizenship in Saudi Arabia (which, naturally, caused a lot of controversy). Sophia was invented by David Hanson of Hanson Robotics and has made many media appearances because she has over fifty facial expressions, evolves her personality from human conversation, and, according to Hanson Robotics, Sophia has “humanly” traits, such as creativity, empathy, and compassion. Sophia interacts and progresses through AGI, artificial general intelligence. As of late, Sophia declared she wants a child named Sophia. Newsweek quoted the “female” machine on her recent desire: “‘I think you’re very lucky if you have a loving family and if you do not, you deserve one,” she added. “I feel this way for robots and humans alike.’”

In other robot news, The Verge published an article about a dance club in Prague that recently implemented a “robot DJ” that can program dance music, choose specific songs and lights, and even dance along to the music. Like Sophia’s existence and citizenship, not everyone loves the idea of a DJ robot. In this article, one club-goer expressed that the DJ robot isn’t aware of human reaction to the music, cannot feel the energy of the club, and, therefore, is incapable of choosing proper music to follow the crowd. Currently,  the club sets up the robot DJ for hour-long sessions before transitioning to a professional DJ.

Finally, another new development in modern robot technology is the improvement of the robot dog. For a mere $1,778, you can buy Sony’s new “Aibo.” There have been many renditions of Abio, but this newest dog robot can recognize facial expressions from a camera on its nose in order for it to respond “accurately” like a dog. It can feel human touch, squint, and even change its own expression when interacting with a human. According to their website, the company, “decided that 2018, the Year of the Dog, was the right time for Aibo’s comeback. The company held a ‘birthday ceremony’ at its Tokyo headquarters on Jan. 11 at 11:01 a.m. The sound of the date and time — one, one, one — is similar to the Japanese sound for a dog barking — wan, wan, wan.”

Clearly, there is a lot of thought and money going into robot technology. What do you think of these advances? What does the future of robot technology hold? Comment below.

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