- Title: Humans and machines interact as robots come to CES
- Date: 6th January 2017
- Summary: PEOPLE WATCHING (SOUNDBITE) (English) RYAN WU, VICE PRESIDENT, QIHAN, SAYING: "For business, the main application is for retail, hospitality, healthcare and children's education. For a personal electronic, it is going to apply to office and in house and play as a remote assistant."
- Embargoed: 21st January 2017 10:14
- Keywords: Robots CES artificial intelligence AI expo technology
- Location: LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, UNITED STATES
- City: LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Science
- Reuters ID: LVA0035XXZB6J
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Professor Albert Einstein may have died more than half a century ago, but at CES Las Vegas on Thursday (January 5), the robotic replicas of the renowned scientist looked around, made eye contact and smiled.
Einstein has been reincarnated in the form of a so-called 'empathetic' robot that pushes the boundaries of automation by being able to interact with people using emotional nuances.
Created by the Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics, the rubberized rendition of Einstein's head and shoulders with piercing movable eyes, white hair and distinctive mustache dazzled the crowds at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
"Our professor Einstein product can sit with you and keep your schedule, have a conversation with you, teach science with you, play with you. It's kind of robotic companion," explained David Hanson, the CEO and Founder of Hanson Robotics.
The Einstein robot is a humanoid robot and it is able to form delicate facial expressions and respond to his environment, thanks to cameras inside his eyes and motors underneath the rubber-like skin.
"Einstein and professor Einstein represent a breakthrough for the way that people can interface with computers. This is a big thing because right now there are a lot of cool robots out there in the world, a lot of artificial intelligence coming along, but making that emotional, natural connection can use an animated character," said Hanson.
Einstein's creators believe that one day computers will be able to relate to people - listening and responding at a level not yet seen.
"So we're developing leading edge artificial intelligence that we hope within ten years will mean that these robots will actually be fully conscious so bringing them into our family today in this kind of baby-like form then lets our AI get smarter over time," explained Hanson.
Chinese firm Qihan, which is looking to crack the increasingly competitive personal robot market, showcased their 'Sanbot' robot at CES.
The personal android helper market is becoming increasingly crowded, but Qihan is confident that Sanbot's advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology sets it apart from competitors.
Sanbot is designed for use by retailers, hoteliers, schools, nursing homes and other customer-oriented industries to deliver smart, personalized, services.
"For business, the main application is for retail, hospitality, healthcare and children's education. For a personal electronic it is going to apply to office and in house and play as a remote assistant," explained Ryan Wu, Qihan's Vice President.
Sanbot has two wheels and can rotate 360 degrees and move automatically, stopping automatically when it encounters obstacles.
It also knows a few dance moves, as the crowds at CES witnessed.
Front and rear cameras allow Sanbot to navigate, while a one-port microphone enables it to communicate with users. It also has a 3.5 inch display screen and can be operated using Wi-Fi.
"Through your mobile phone you can remotely control the robot to walk in the house and make interaction, I mean tell you to make interaction with your family," explained Wu.
Sanbot has a bespoke Q-Link Private Cloud System, downloadable from the App Store and Google Play, which allows users to take direct control of the android using personal mobile devices. The robot can also be guided by manual controls or by using Sanbot's built-in audio-visual features and HD cameras.
The robot is surprisingly light - weighing just 3.2 kilograms - and is operated by a Panasonic lithium battery.
Already on sale in China, Sanbot will be available in the U.S. later this year.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None