Human-like robot Sophia 'takes her first steps'

Human-like robot Sophia 'takes her first steps'
By Chris Harris with Associated Press
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The development is being seen as a major step forward for artificial intelligence.


A lifelike robot has taken her first steps in a development being seen as a major leap forward for artificial intelligence.

Sophia, developed by Hong Kong-based startup Hanson Robotics, has already hit the headlines for her human-like abilities.

Now the firm has teamed up with experts at the University of Las Vegas to develop Sophia’s ability to walk.

Her progress was recorded on camera ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show, which is taking place in Las Vegas from January 9-12.

The addition of legs to the lifelike bot is another stage in pushing the boundaries of artificial intelligence for Hanson and his team.

"We're really aspiring for Sophia to help people in medical applications, therapy, medical assistance and by giving her a body then that means that Sophia can help to learn to work with us in factories and help us around the home," said Hanson.

"Eventually, we expect that she will be truly alive and with us in our world helping people on a daily basis."

A multinational team of scientists and engineers are fine tuning her appearance and the algorithms that enable her to smile, blink and refine her understanding and communication.

Cameras in her eyes and a 3D sensor in her chest help her "see”.

The processor that serves as her brain combines facial and speech recognition, natural language processing, speech synthesis and a motion control system.

"Our AI team is really aspiring to use Sofia as a platform for achieving human-level general intelligence, that's creativity, the ability to dream and imagine, the ability to have compassion," added Hanson.

"And that's another way that the physical body is really important. So, the machines can understand what it means to feel human through embodiment, compassion, to feel with us.”

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