Robots have transformed and evolved consistently across the years. The growing use of robots in many applications has increased their demand exponentially. Robots come in varied shapes and types. They are designed according to the type of work they perform. The most intriguing and similar to a human is the humanoid robot. These robots resemble humans and are designed to perform every task with the efficacy of humans. The ‘similarity quotient’ will play a crucial role in the growth of the humanoid robot market.
A humanoid robot is used in varied applications namely entertainment, personal assistance, hospitals, scientific research, and others. Humanoid robots trace their origin back to the 1960s. Waseda University launched the WABOT project. The project marked the completion of WABOT-1, the world’s first humanoid robot. Since then, the humanoid robot has evolved at a rapid rate. Here are some firsts across the humanoid robot market and the future scope in the area of the application.
First Humanoid Robot Citizen
Hong Kong-based company, Hanson Robotics developed Sophia, a humanoid robot in 2016. It was the first robot to be granted the citizenship of Saudi Arabia. The humanoid robot has the ability to perform human gestures and facial expressions.
Future scope: Hanson, the Hong Kong-based company which built Sophia is in the process of building another humanoid robot known as Joyce. It will be termed as Sophia’s sibling. The company is working with Immervision, an AI company to design Joyce’s body. Similar developments will trigger the growth of the humanoid robot market.
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First Humanoid Robot in a Factory Setting
Digit, a two-legged humanoid robot can navigate through obstacles with the help of LiDAR and other sensors. The robot has its feet designed in such a way that it can balance on one foot. It has the ability to carry around 18kg weight in its arms. It can be used for delivering various goods across warehouses and other industrial areas.
Future scope: Research is being conducted to enable Digit to drive and deliver packages to customers, thus automating the entire delivery process. These factors serve as growth multipliers for the humanoid robot market.
A robonaut is the humanoid robot version of astronauts. NASA’s Johnson Space Center has the first robonaut designed by its robot technology branch. This humanoid robot type is designed to work with astronauts in space. Varied countries are in the process of designing indigenous humanoid robots.
Future scope: The Indian Government is in the process of designing Vyommitra, a robonaut that will be used for an unmanned mission on Mars. All these aspects bode well for the growth of the humanoid robot market.
First Social Humanoid Robot
Pepper, manufactured by Softbank Robotics in 2014 is the first social humanoid robot. Pepper helps in engaging people with conversation through the touchscreen placed on the chest. The humanoid robot can speak in 15 different languages.
Future scope: Social humanoid robots are being used extensively in a plethora of fields. LuxAI, a Luxemburg-based company has recently developed a social humanoid robot for specially-abled children. The expanding scope of social humanoid robots will bring tremendous growth prospects for the humanoid robot market.
Humanoids are also being used for treating COVID-19 patients. The use of humanoid robots at a super specialty COVID-19 hospital at Wuhan is a classic instance. Humanoids were performing varied tasks which ultimately reduced the transmission risk among the healthcare professionals. All these aspects will build the growth trajectory of the humanoid robot market.
Humanoid robots have come a long way and have the potential to transform the entire working process of many industries and sectors. The growing popularity will bring exceptional growth prospects for the humanoid robot market in the near future.
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