HONG KONG, June 9 - The Hong Kong team behind the celebrity humanoid robot Sophia is launching a new prototype, Grace, targeted at the healthcare market and designed to interact with the elderly and those isolated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Grace is dressed in a northern-color uniform by a blue nurse, has Asian features, collar-length brown hair and a thermal camera on her chest to measure your temperature and take your responses. She uses artificial intelligence to diagnose a patient and can speak English, Mandarin and Cantonese.
I can visit with people and brighten up their day with social stimulation, but also help medical providers, Sophia told Reuters as she stood next to her sister Grace at the Hong Kong workshop of Hanson Robotics.
Grace's resemblance to a healthcare professional and capacity for social interaction is aimed at relieving the burden on front-line hospital staff overwhelmed during the pandemic, said founder David Hanson.
A human appearance facilitates trust and natural engagement, because we are wired for human face-to-face interactions, Hanson said, explaining how Grace can simulate the action of more than 48 major facial muscles, and has a comforting demeanour that tends to look a little like anime characters, often a fusion of Asian and Western styles.
The Awakening Health intends to launch a beta version of Grace by August, said David Lake, the Director of the Joint Venture between Hanson Robotics and Singularity Studio. There are plans to introduce her fully next year in locations including Hong Kong, mainland China, Japan and Korea.
The cost of manufacturing robots, now comparable to luxury cars price, will decrease when the company is manufacturing hundreds or hundreds of units, Hanson added.
Kim Min-Sun's announcement comes as the humanoid impact of the coronavirus has made the need for global robots urgent, said Grace, a professor of communications at the University of Hawaii.
Many people were kept at home during COVID - 19 Lockdowns. The negative thoughts caused their mental states to suffer.
If they can get help through deployment of these intimate robots in social settings, it certainly will have a positive impact on society, she said.