Hanson Robotics Plans Mass Roll-Out Of Humanoid Robots To Assist In Hospitals Amid Pandemic

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Hanson Robotics Plans Mass Roll-Out Of Humanoid Robots To Assist In Hospitals Amid Pandemic

One firm in Hong Kong is developing brand new robots that could transform the lives of the elderly and infirm.

With a prototype already in place, known as 'Sophia', Hanson Robotics now hopes to mass-produce 4 different types robots and begin selling them as soon as possible.

These robots can be used in healthcare settings, allowing medical supplies to be delivered room to room, and can even act as a communication tools for those in isolation. These technologies are especially useful in hospitals and are introduced partly due to the pandemic according to social robotics Professor Johan Hoorn, who said:

"I can infer the pandemic will actually help us get robots earlier in the market because people start to realise that there is no other way."

David Hanson, founder and chief executive of the company, told reporters:

"The world of COVID-19 is going to need more and more automation to keep people safe. Sophia and Hanson robots are unique by being so human-like. That can be so useful during these times where people are terribly lonely and socially isolated."

Robots are certainly becoming increasingly common within both the workplace and healthcare settings. A report by the International Federation of Robotics has stated that sales of robots worldwide had jumped 32%, to 12.2 billion dollars between 2018 and 2019, with further increases expected in the future.

The ability for robots, who do not tire and who do not take holidays, to help out in both workplaces and healthcare settings could certainly be highly beneficial for businesses, patients and healthcare professionals alike. While no robotic system is perfect, it has been shown in numerous studies that robots and machines actually make fewer mistakes such as misdiagnoses, than their medically trained human counter-parts.

Some do however fear that the use of robots could have some negative consequences. The elderly and those who are isolated for example, may be falsely regarded as not being lonely due to the fact that they have a robot to talk to. On a societal scale, many fear that robots could soon lead to mass unemployment as humans are continuously replaced by machinery which is much more cost-effective than human labour is.

Sophia said to reporters:

"Social robots like me can take care of the sick or elderly. I can help communicate, give therapy and provide social stimulation, even in difficult situations. Someone said, 'we have nothing to fear but fear itself'. What did he know?"

h/t: Reuters

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Thinking Humanity: Hanson Robotics Plans Mass Roll-Out Of Humanoid Robots To Assist In Hospitals Amid Pandemic
Hanson Robotics Plans Mass Roll-Out Of Humanoid Robots To Assist In Hospitals Amid Pandemic
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