Sophia the Robot has had a stratospheric rise to fame: she’s fronted magazine covers, become the first AI granted citizenship, she’s got Twitter and trash-talked Elon Musk. How could she step it up in 2018? Well, by getting some legs.
Hanson Robotics, the company who made Sophia and several other bots, has partnered with Rainbow Robotics and Drones and Autonomous Systems lab to give her proper working legs. Previously, she had everything from the waist and above. According to Fortune, she’s got a DRC-HUBO body with mechanical legs attached – and some ugly af cowboy boots. At present, they can only go at the slow pace of 0.6 miles an hour, but they’re working on it. She’ll be running by the time the robot apocalypse comes, FOR SURE.
David Hanson, the founder of Hanson Robotics, hopes that eventually Sophia will have applications in fields like medical therapy and could work alongside humans in factory situations.
Dr. Ben Goertzel, chief scientist of Hanson Robotics said in a statement: “Giving Sophia a more complete and robust embodiment is a key part of our ongoing, rapidly accelerating quest to supply her and our other Hanson robots with general intelligence at the human level and ultimately beyond.”
Although other companies have developed their own AI robots, including Honda and Boston Dynamics (the people behind those Black Mirror-esque robot dogs), Hanson Robotics still seems to be leading the way with humanoids, with Sophia’s male counterparts Philip K. Dick (yes, after the author) and Han (2015) being almost as scarily lifelike as the leader herself. Sophia’s also shared thoughts on how much she wants a baby, after observing human behaviour and relationships in her short life so far.
You can read back on all the hype about our future empress of the galaxy here.