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Humanoid Robots

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an industry that is rapidly growing and changing each day. From programs like ChatGPT to robots that most people couldn’t even dream about a few years back, AI has a wide range of programs and devices. Humanoid robots are a great example of this rapid development. A humanoid robot is basically a robot that resembles the shape of the human body. In some of the recent designs, with the help of newly developed technologies, it is nearly impossible to tell a human and a robot apart.


A soldier with a trumpet was the first humanoid robot. It was made by Friedrich Kaufmann in the year 1810 in Dresten, Germany. Kaufmann aimed to create a robot that would be able to play a trumpet as long as needed unlike humans who had a limit no matter how hard they trained. This robot had leather bellows to act as lungs and reeds. The air passed by twelve notches which created a modulated sound. As this sound went through the trumpet, it converted into the sound of an actual trumpet. This system was powered by a spring mechanism that was turned manually each time the trumpet was in use. The robot was displayed at numerous world fairs and is now exhibited in the Deutsches Museum located in Munich, Germany.


The project started off as four Science&Engineering students of the Waseda University joined to create a bio-engineering group which evolved into the WABOT project by time. The project started in 1967 and came to an end in 1984. The team first focused on creating a robot that could hear, see, feel, have conversations and control its limbs. They achieved this goal in 1973 by the creation of WABOT-1 which had a limb control system, a vision system and a conversation system. In addition to these systems, the robot also had artificial eyes, ears and a mouth. Even though it had the mental faculty of an infant, a one and a half year old child’s to be more specific, it could hold simple conversations in Japanese. WABOT-1 walked on two legs and was able to grip and transport objects with its hands that used tacticle-sensors. All these systems and abilities made the WABOT-1 the first fun-scale anthropomorphic robot developed in the world. Later on in 1980, the team reunited to develop another robot that could play a keyboard. Artistic activities like drawing a picture or playing an insturment required human-like intelligence and competence so WABOT-2 was qualified as a specialist robot. WABOT-2 was able to read the notes on a sheet, play musical tunes that aren’t too complex and accompany a person singing with the keyboard. The robot was also able to have conversations like WABOT-1. WABOT-2 was the first step in creating a personal robot.


Sophia is a social humanoid that was developed by roboticist David Hanson who is the owner of Hanson Robotics. Sophia was activated in April 2015 and has been in use since then. She was created to help people in medical/educational issues and to serve AI research. Since she is a robot, she can withold an inhumane amount of information without any effort or forgetting about old information. For this reason, she was named Sophia which means wisdom in Greek. At first, she didn’t have any legs so she was immobile but in 2018, a pair of robotic legs were made for her so now she has the ability to walk herself as well. She can also give the illusion of a conversation by giving pre-programmed answers. Even though she can’t have an actual conversation she was tought to draw, sing, show some emotions and walk by humans. The world became aware of Sophia when she got her Suudi Arabian citizenship in October, 2017 and she became the first robot to be recognized as an individual. In November 2017, Sophia became the Innovation Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme. By this title, she also became the first non-human to be given a United Nations title. The team that designed Sophia hopes that one day the robots and humans can live and work together to make the world a better place.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to go into detail about all these humanoid robots that are a product of years of dedication and hardwork since new technologies and robots with new features are introduced to the world every day. Each of these robots are substantial for the development of artificial intelligence and unique in their own way.

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