A favorite subject for science fiction authors from Isaac Asimov until now has been sentient robots. In these stories, mechanical robots interact at a human level, and have their own emotions. However, a new kind of robot has emerged into the public sphere, one that can be a first step in making intelligent robots a reality. This robot is called Roboy.
Roboy is a humanoid robot that was first presented in March of 2013, and has been evolving ever since. One of the more impressive aspects of Roboy’s creation is that it uses touch sensors to “feel”, and can display emotion on its face. The system Roboy is based on is designed to emulate human motion, and uses artificial muscles and tendons to do so. It was 3D printed, and to this day, the company that made Roboy is continuing to update its electronics, joints, muscles, power, and other parts. This robot is, despite being started in 2012, still being worked on at the moment. The company EOS endorsed the 3D printed robot, due to its proprietary function. Right now, this robot is being worked on in order to replicate human movement, and make it as dexterous and flexible as humans. In summary, Roboy is designed to be as functional as a human, and its nature as a 3D printed robot leads it to be quite different.
The design of Roboy is the main draw as opposed to other types of AI, but it still has many other features other robots lack. Firstly, it’s important to understand what AI means. AI stands for artificial intelligence, which basically means the ability of machines to make choices like humans can. It’s the difference between a human coding a robot to do a calculation and the robot making choosing when to make the calculation by itself, which can be further extrapolated to the ability of a machine to self-correct based on a situation or even reprogram itself. While these capabilities aren’t entirely present in Roboy, it is important to note that Roboy can display emotion and judge what emotion it should feel by itself. Its ability to choose what emotion to feel based on external stimuli rather than on being hard-coded for certain stimuli makes Roboy a prime example of artificial intelligence. Emotional understanding is an ability that we attribute as human, and is an ability Roboy possesses, once again making it a leader in the field of artificial intelligence. The important things to take away from Roboy are this: Firstly, this robot’s design will influence the creation of other robots in the future, and secondly, we may all one day live in a world where interacting with robots becomes the norm. Finally, the ability Roboy posesses to make its own decisions based on situations it wasn’t coded specifically for makes Roboy a prime example of artificial intelligence. Roboy will likely be the first of many anthropomorphic robot designs if it works as intended, and for now is an excellent example of humanoid robotics.
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