April 9, 2016
Relationships between robots and humans are quite debatable. While some believe that robots impose a threat to human occupations, others are excited to explore opportunities that robots will bring. The potential of robotics is almost unlimited as it is able to create machines for almost any operation across a wide range of industries. The financial services industry will not be an exception either. In fact, there is already a robot that was showcased at SEC in Barcelona last year – Pepper. Pepper has siblings – NAO and Romeo.
Produced by robotics company Aldebaran, Pepper is programmable to be applied across industries and can potentially meet you at a bank branch the next time you visit. The company designed Pepper to make his interaction with human beings as natural and intuitive as possible. It is a friendly and cheerful machine with an emotions engine, which with correct software and some ‘teaching’ can replace a human consultant.
The interesting part about humanoid robots is that even if they were conceived to perform one set of tasks, it is a matter of software to teach them to do other things and apply the same robot across industries.
Hanson Robotics has recently terrified and surprised some folks with its human-looking robot Sophia, who said she will "destroy humans". The company builds completely human-like, empathetic and engaging robots that are capable of building a trusted relationship with people. With Sophia and robotics overall, the company wants to infuse AI into human lives smoothly, with kindness and compassion, achieved through millions of interactions between its robots and the people whose lives they touch.
Compassionate and highly intelligent robots like Sophia, that are stunningly human-like, can go unnoticed and not even attract extra attention the next time you come to perhaps consult with it as an adviser. Sophia is one of four robots build by the company along with The Albert HUBO, Han and Jules. Han is a humanoid robot which can mimic human expressions and hold interactive conversations with the crowd. Jules is a life like robot with a combination of interesting features. By integrating natural language processing with ASR, TTS, computer vision, artistry, and narrative, people can have a natural, interactive conversation with Jules.
Another robot you may run into in the future is the one built by Google-owned Boston Dynamics. The robot called Atlas is one of the most amazing machines as it is scarily advanced in terms of coordination and the ability to learn. Don’t be repelled by the look of the robot, as it is one of the easiest things to alter. As described on the official website, Atlas is a high mobility, humanoid robot designed to beat extremely challenging terrains. Atlas is strong and coordinated enough to climb using hands and feet, to pick its way through congested spaces. Another robot built by the company – Petman, is more human-looking and was designed to be used in chemical testing in dangerous environments.
REEM, fully customizable for applications across industries, is a robot built by Pal Robotics. The robot can be altered to be implemented as a receptionist, to serve in airports, museums, or to be a security robot, and has a wide range of other use cases. The company’s experts in usability and human-robot interaction assist in leveraging the power of REEM and can create content for REEM’s touch screen, prepare movements or even speeches to fit REEM in the desired environment.