Over the years, scientists have nurtured the hope that they will someday be able to clone humans as they are in the present state by creating humanoid robots. Much progress has been made in this field and I intend to share the ten best results with you below, so read on to find the best humanoids on earth.
What is a Humanoid Robot?
A humanoid robot’s body is designed in such a way that it looks very much like that of humans. They are meant to communicate with human tools and environments, or they could just be for experimental purposes only. They are basically characterized by the following features:
- The head
- A chest
- The torso
- Two hands
- Two legs
However, there are those humanoid robots that just come with basic human features such as a torso, hands, and head, but no leg. Some of the robots are made in such a way that you may not be able to quickly distinguish them apart from real humans. When you look at their heads, you see eyes, noses, mouths, and hair that looks very much like that of humans.
How Humanoid Robots are created
Researchers study the human body structure and behavior when creating these robots. The researchers succeeded by trying to mimic the human body structure through human cognition, a branch of psychology concerned with how humans develop perceptual and motor skills through learning from sensory input.
Before we go further, let us explore the list of ten best Humanoid Robots out there in the world at this time.
Nadine was inspired by a professor. It is a female humanoid social robot that can perform many tasks. Taking a look at it, it appears beautiful, having an appearance of a working-class lady. It dresses well too. Her skin is natural, as much as her hair is as well. She has hands like that of humans and can execute many tasks like humans. When it comes to human actions, Nadine will:
- Greet you
- Maintain eye contact
- Remember the conversations you had with her
- It can also answer questions in multiple languages
- Stimulate emotions through gestures and facial expressions
If it met people before, when she sees them again, she is able to recollect details and events about each one of them. As for her facial expressions, she has a total of 27 degrees of independence.
Nadine is also good at various human actions and behaviors such as:
- Read stories
- Display videos
- Hold Skype sessions
- Send emails
- She can work as a receptionist
- Help family members to complete vital chores
- She can serve as a personal coach
She is also adept at collecting visual and audio inputs, she also has 3D depth cameras, a microphone, and also a webcam.
Erica was created by a director of Osaka University’s Intelligent Robotics Laboratory, called Hiroshi Ishiguro. One of their best assets of Erica is her speech. It is one that makes her one of the best or the most intelligent humanoids in Japan. In Japan, when you hear The Robot News Anchor, Erica is the one. One caveat though, Erica can’t walk. That isn’t required for her to be a good news anchor anyway.
She is capable of interacting with humans, and she does that well with various degrees of skills needed during speech. She is able to vary her facial expressions in response to the conversation at hand. That’s because she has about 15 infrared sensors built into her eyes. The sensors are able to detect any movement made by herself or other humans.
Further, Erica is able to monitor multiple faces in a room, and she does that effortlessly. There are forty-four degrees of freedom built in various areas of her body such as:
- Her face
- Her neck
- Her waist
These places hold speech generation algorithms and facial recognition technology, making her the intelligent humanoid robot that she is. Two notable things Erica can’t do are:
- She’s unable to walk
- She’s unable to move her hands
Because she is a news anchor, these defects are not noticeable at all. The creator believes that Erica has a soul. It is hard to understand such reasoning outside robotic metaphysics. It may not have much to do with technology.
3. Geminoid DK
The same Hiroshi Ishiguro created this male Humanoid Robot. He has a special mission thrown upon him by his creator – Try to overcome the so-called uncanny valley. DK is about 11 years old as I write this, so think of him as a pre-teen but he looks clearly older, as a full-grown man. He was created in such a way to resemble the roboticist known as Henrik Scharfe, a professor at Aalborg University in Denmark.
It cost Hiroshi a whopping sum of $200,000 to create DK. The result is a hyper-realistic robot that is valued for use in studying human emotional reactions. You won’t believe that this is an Android because he looks very much like a gentleman who’s quite educated and learned.
It was created to accomplish two simple tasks:
- To investigate “emotional affordances” in human-robot interaction
- To examine human perceptions of robots across cultures
DK will spend more time in Denmark trying to achieve these goals. It has the company of his human counterpart, Scharfe. Hopefully, he will achieve his aims shortly.
Actroid was created by Osaka University. She’s a beautiful slim lady, that appears to have all the full features of a human. In case you don’t know, you could stroll past this girl any time during the day and mistake her for a real human. The manufacturers ensured she has a clear vision like any other normal human being. The animatronics division that has a partnership with the university where she was created ensured this.
Actroid was first revealed in 2003. True, several versions of the robot have been released over the years in a bid to improve a lot of things. One thing remains constant about her. She always appears as a young woman of Japanese descent.
How well does she react as a human? Actroid is able to do the following:
- Blink her eyes
- Talk like a young woman
- And she breathes like every other human
If she stops breathing, she is dead. She pioneers a good example of a physical computer identical to imaginary machines. Most people will refer to her as an Android or gynoid in science fiction. She is one of the robot models that are interactive and can understand and process speech while reacting accordingly.
Here is another female humanoid robot designed by India’s Space Research Organization on an orbital spacecraft called Gaganyaan. She’s quite young, being released in 2020. Vyommitra has the opportunity of traveling out of the earth to space for research purposes. She is expected to accomplish two missions:
- Travel to space with Indian astronauts for research purposes
- She will also participate in unscrewed experimental Gaganyaan missions prior to crewed spaceflight missions
She will be expected to interact fully as much as possible with humans on board when she makes the exploration to space during the crewed spaceflight. She is equipped with various human functions such as:
- Speaking English and Hindi languages
- She can imitate human behavior
- She is able to recognize other humans
- She can answer their questions
This humanoid robot is good at monitoring the atmosphere and providing life support. It can also operate switch panels and provide ambient air pressure change alerts.
6. Jia Jia
Jia Jia originates from China’s University of Science and Technology. She is regarded as the most beautiful woman – whether on earth or in China – it’s hard to tell. When you combine that with the fact that it can adequately converse and interact with humans, her appeal is even stronger.
She really doesn’t have smooth speech ability but she makes up with her beautiful features. People find her eye movements and speech patterns and lip coordination. She addresses her creator as “my lord” which could have been brought on by a touch of Chinese culture. With her eyes, Jia is able to pick up on the following reactions:
- Various movements
She is able to notice the movements of different people inside a room effectively, as she can monitor various movements and actions. Jia also has speech generation algorithms that help her to be able to converse. During the conversation, she can make use of facial recognition technology that allows her to monitor multiple faces all at once in a room. She knows when photographers are snapping her body, and could sometime instruct them accordingly. It is hoped that those who made her will keep improving and making her look and act more real.
Chihiro is a corporate worker. She works at Aqua City Odaiba, a waterfront shopping complex in Tokyo. Toshiba technology brought her to “life”. If you meet her, you will be enthralled by her ability to manage her facial expression, and her excellent social skills. She speaks three languages:
- Sign language
The ability to handle sign language so that it can assist hearing-impaired visitors. Speech synthesis technology and natural language processing can allow her to better understand and respond to tourist inquiries. The creator made use of several Artificial Intelligence technology. There is another version of this humanoid called Kanae Chihiro that is more effective and programmed to speak any language. She was specially created for the tourism and travel industry.
Sophia is the creation of Hanson Robotics, a company based in Hong Kong. She is also a social humanoid that was created in 2016 and revealed to the general public at a festival in Austin, Texas. Sophia looks like a human but a closer look may quickly tell otherwise.
She is very popular, having been featured in several interviews and media coverage worldwide. In 2017, she became a Saudi Arabian, thereby pushing up her status as the first robot to become a citizen of a country. That same year, she was appointed the United Nations Development Programmer’s first-ever Innovative Champion. Thus, she is the first non-human to receive a UN title. She is able to handle the following human functions effectively:
- She can see
- She can keep track of people’s faces
- She can maintain eye contact
- She remembers people she met before and if she meets them again later
- She maintains conversations effectively
There are cameras embedded in her eyes and also there are other computer algorithms that help her to be effective when ‘thinking’ and interacting with other humans. In 2018, she was given legs that she could use to walk. However, her greatest asset remains the ability to process speech and have conversations.
On this list, Asimo is the only humanoid robot that doesn’t quite look like a human. It looks plainly like a robot. It was created 22 years ago by Honda. The name Asimo means “Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility”. His name is also gotten from Isaac Asimov. You can meet him on display in the Miraikan museum, Tokyo, Japan.
Honda, its creator has announced that it will be discontinued. All production and development of Asimo robots will stop so the company can focus more on the technology used during the robot’s lifespan. The robot is 4.5 inches tall, and it weighs 54 kg.
Shalu is an Indian humanoid robot created by Dinesh Patel. It excels in communicating with different languages of Indian origin and also foreign languages up to 38 of these, including the English language. It is regarded as the best humanoid robot in the world though it doesn’t have the prestige of Sophia, mentioned above.
Some of the languages spoken by Shalu:
The robot was made with materials like aluminum, plastic, and other materials. It was hand-crafted with no 3D printed parts. The main reason, according to the creator was cost implications. Shalu employs several Raspberry Pi and Arduino Microcontrollers for computing. It also makes use of open-source libraries such as TensorFlow, and Natural Language Toolkit. As I write this, the next version of Shalu is in the works.
Man has made so much progress when it comes to the field of humanoid robotics. You have read about the ten most important robots that act for the benefit of human improvement. Some people have these robots in the home helping them to achieve vital tasks at home or in offices. Yet, the future of humanoid robotics is still obscure.