The earliest mention of the word “Android” if not exactly dates back to a paper published by the London Times in December 1795. It referred to mechanical devices that were shaded in the form of humans as “androids”. However, it would not be until George Lucas’s Star Wars movie that the word “Droid” would become synonymous with robots and be marked in history forever.
How the Media Helped Popularize Robots?
The media and culture have always contributed to making these mechanical beings more and more popular. They took ideas of imaginative brains and put them into the minds of scientists. Then, researchers across the globe started to figure out how to do this?
There may be hundreds, if not thousands, of movies and TV shows, articles, and comics where such human-like beings that can interact with people, help them, assist them and live alongside them. They sprung right from the books of fiction to reality with today’s modern mobile robotics. From robot pets like Aibo to talking humanoids like Sophia, things have become more and more real.
The advancement in technology and AI has helped make things far more natural. From recognizing known faces to replying to conversations, the robots of today can do it all.
How have Humanoids Evolved?
The basic functionality of any robot is locomotion and path planning. And, at times it has to do both mapping and path planning at the same time. There are lots of good examples today where the humanoids like Sophia from Hanson Robotics or Qrio from Sony can make sense of their environment by exploration and move in the unknown environment through their locomotion capabilities.
The rovers that were sent to the planets by NASA would also navigate and explore the world around it without any human intervention. All this is possible because of functional processes and algorithms that run inside their brains that can interact with their environment, and act accordingly. For example, a humanoid robot has to balance itself with two legs and walk. And, at the same time avoid colliding with other human beings and objects in its vicinity.
Today, human-like robots can expand their arms and grab a bottle of coke, open it up and pour it for you. The goal of developing humans like robots is to enable them to coexist with humans in the near future.
There are numerous advantages and applications of humanoids. From intricate head, designs to be able to show facial expressions and interact with people to assist them in their daily work.
Though there has been a lot of improvement, they are still not there as movies have made you believe. There is a lot to do from external appearance, sensing the world around it, recognizing, learning and remembering things to taking decisions.
Though a lot is left to make them like humans, they are still far more integrated into our lives today. You have them working at factories doing mundane jobs to carrying your luggage for you at airports.