Simultaneously exciting and terrifying, the world of artificial intelligence has progressed in leaps and bounds throughout the beginning of our 21st century. In fact, technological advances have been happening so rapidly that it’s hard to say for certain which new robot is more capable than the last. Though the competition is fierce, here are 5 of the most advanced robots in the world.
1. Pepper – SoftBank Robotics
Pepper is the first semi-humanoid robot to detect emotion and interact with people through conversation. His speech recognition is available in 15 languages and is enhanced via text through his touchscreen. Pepper has been around since 2014 and made his retail debut at SoftBank cellphone stores throughout Japan. He has gained popularity as a retail assistant ever since, helping boost sales through data accumulation, general customer curiosity about robots, and his ability to answer questions. There were already over 12 000 Peppers in use worldwide as of May 2018.
2. Atlas – Boston Dynamics
Initially unveiled in 2013 with the end goal of being able to detect and respond to dangerous situations, the Atlas humanoid robot has been improving at rapid rates ever since. Developed by Boston Dynamics, the initial version of this robot could walk, grasp objects, and sense obstacles in its environment. The 2016 version could carry boxes, tread on tricky terrain, and get up after falling. The 2017 Atlas could do backflips and parkour. The 2019 Atlas could gracefully perform an entire gymnastics routine. Wait, what was the point of building this one again?
3. Kengoro – University of Tokyo
Arguably the most advanced humanoid robot to date, Kengoro was developed from 2015 onward by researchers working at the University of Tokyo. Kengoro was established with the purpose of learning more about the human body and has over 100 sensors in his joints. He is capable of playing badminton, doing push-ups, stretching, and even releasing heat generated through physical activity through “sweating” (freaky would be the appropriate word here).
4. ASIMO – Honda
As the very first of its kind, ASIMO long stood unchallenged in the world of humanoid robots. The initial version of ASIMO was released in 1986 and could essentially accomplish no more than walking. Developers continued working on subsequent versions over the years and today ASIMO can walk on uneven surfaces, climb stairs, grasp objects, and respond to voice commands. The robot can also dodge moving objects, recognize stationary items, and has limited facial recognition abilities. Future versions of ASIMO will hopefully be able to help individuals in need, such as the elderly, and assist in performing dangerous tasks.
5. Nao – SoftBank Robotics
Nao the robot was created for the purpose of assisting in the classroom. He preceded Pepper (who was also built by SoftBank) by 6 years; launched in 2008. However, the robots were designed for different purposes, so Nao is still comparatively advanced. The robot can walk, dance, speak, and is highly programmable. There are over 13 000 currently being used worldwide in research, education, and healthcare.
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