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Sophia robot creators bet on growth amid pandemic

Redaction 26 January 2021

Remember Sophia, that robot designed to accurately replicate human facial expressions and said in an interview that "it has a soul"?

For in addition to feeding post-apocalyptic nightmares, the android can use its communication skills to care for the elderly and the sick, an essential skill in times of pandemic.

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In addition to Sophia, Hanson Robotics currently has three models of androids, which will start to leave factories in the first half of 2021. The company is also preparing to launch this year a robot called Grace, developed specifically for the healthcare sector.

For the company's founder and chief executive, David Hanson, these androids are unique in that they are very similar to humans, which is very useful at a time when people are "terribly lonely and socially isolated".

In fact, many machines of this type are being used in the pandemic to fulfill tasks that are no longer as safe for humans. Panasonic has confirmed that it plans to start testing with home deliveries using autonomous robots. Spot, the Boston Dynamics robot dog, has been working on remote screening of possible patients with Covid-19.

According to a report by the International Robotics Federation, worldwide sales of professional service robots have been on the rise since 2018 and 2019, reaching a level of $ 11,2 billion in revenue.