Are robots going to take over the world?
Meet Grace, the humanified robot created by Hanson Robotics’ workshop in Hong Kong. According to Reuters, the robot’s main purpose in the healthcare market is to cater to the elderly and those in isolation due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Designed with Asian features, Grace is dressed in a nurse’s uniform, with an in-built thermal camera placed in her chest to examine a patient’s temperature and responsiveness. She is also equipped with artificial intelligence to diagnose a patient.
As she stood next to her “sister”, another prototype known as Sophia, Grace told Reuters, “I can visit with people and brighten their day with social stimulation … but can also do talk therapy, take bio readings and help healthcare providers.”
According to founder David Hanson, the robot is made to resemble a healthcare professional as it aims to help relieve overwhelmed frontliners during the pandemic.
“A human-like appearance facilitates trust and natural engagement because we are wired for human face-to-face interactions,” he said.
Chief executive of the joint venture between Hanson Robotics and Singularity Studio, David Lake, stated that Awakening Health intends to mass-produce a beta version of Grace by August, and plans to deploy her throughout mainland China, Hong Kong, Korea and Japan next year.
Kim Min-Sun, a communicology professor at the University of Hawaii, said that Grace’s launch has created an urgent need for humanoid robots as the pandemic continues to cloud one’s mental state with negative thoughts.
Kim added, “If they can get help through the deployment of these social robots in intimate settings, certainly it will have a positive impact on society.”