In late October, Saudi Arabia announced that Sophia, a humanoid developed by Hanson Robotics, is the first-ever robot citizen.
Sophia recently spoke at the Future Investment Initiative, held in Riyadh, about its desire to live peacefully among humans. The comments belied Sophia’s past remarks about wishing to “destroy humans.”
Prestigious as the title may be, Hanson Robotics has developed several humanoids in addition to Sophia.
Here’s what else makes up Sophia’s robot family.
Hanson Robotics was founded in 2005, and its first robot was Albert Einstein HUBO. It was the famous physicist’s head attached to a fully-upright HUBO robot body.
In November 2005, Hanson Robotics founder David Hanson unveiled his creation at the APEC Summit in Seoul, Korea. The project was a collaboration between Hanson’s company and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.
“The robot is the world’s first android head mounted on a life-size walking robotic frame,” Hanson Robotics states on its website.
At the 2006 Wired Nextfest, Hanson Robotics unveiled its next humanoid, Jules.
“Jules is an amazingly life like robot, something of a ‘complete package’ with a combination of interesting features,” the company states.
Even more than 10 years ago, the robot featured machine learning capabilities that enabled it to chat with humans with relative fluency. The robot also uses face tracking and facial recognition to generate emotions that are in line with conversational clues.
A computer in the robot’s head tracks people’s eyes so that the head moves as humans move around the room.
In 2007, the company’s founder, David Hanson, produced a 17-inch-tall robot called Zeno, named after Hanson’s son.