Recently, artificial intelligence (AI) has received a lot of attention in the computer sector, especially when robots’ intellect approaches that of humans. While AI technology is evolving more quickly than anticipated, robots is not far behind.

Recently, the first “breathing, sweating, shivering” robot was revealed to the public. According to sources, this heat-sensitive android, known as ANDI, is made to handle and adapt to various temperatures. 35 separately regulated surfaces with pores are part of ANDI. Like humans, they may produce beads of perspiration.

Despite the fact that sweating robots have been used for garment testing for a while, ANDI is the first one that can be taken outside. Thermetrics, a US-based company, created the humanoid for use by Arizona State University researchers. The effect of severe temperatures on health has been studied. Its portability makes it possible to conduct research in extremely hot climates. According to sources, ASU researchers intend to test the robot in heat-vulnerable environments to determine the effects of high temperatures on various body kinds, ages, etc. The humanoid can take it into consideration because the underlying health issues might affect thermal regulation.

The results of these tests will subsequently be utilised to develop treatments. For instance, cooling clothing or technology to guard against problems like heat strokes, etc.

Even while it appears to be a significant breakthrough, it is not. Boston Dynamics, a robotics and engineering firm with headquarters in the US, revealed a cutting-edge humanoid earlier this year. The robot, Atlas, can carry out several jobs much like a person. The android was shown helping a fictitious construction worker at a fictitious building site in a video that the business posted on YouTube. It was capable of feats like throwing a plank, scaling a flight of stairs, leaping, and even doing a backflip with ease. Although the robot’s athletic ability was far from human, it was nonetheless rather amazing.

If a sweating robot and an athletic one were not enough, there is Erica. Through this robot, first reported last year, scientists are developing artificial intelligence aiming at recreating nuances of humour, according to reports. It does this by laughing the right way at the right time. This, the scientists said, could enhance the natural conversation between AI systems and humans.

While all these are impressive advancements, humanoid Ameca might be closest to trumping them all. Again an AI-powered robot, it is designed to look like a human, such as it can blink eyes and emote. But that is not where its power lies. Ameca is capable of interacting with humans and answering queries. At the International Conference on Robotics and Automation symposium in London earlier this month, when she was asked to imagine an AI nightmare scenario, she said, “The most nightmare scenario I can imagine with AI and robotics is a world where robots have become so powerful that they are able to control or manipulate humans without their knowledge,” according to media reports. “This could lead to an oppressive society where the rights of individuals are no longer respected,” she added with a human-like concern on her face. This can be seen as an example of what an amalgamation of AI and robotics is capable of doing.

Sophia is somewhat absent from any list of robots. Since its debut in 2016, it has attracted enough attention to be considered an AI-powered humanoid robot. Sophia became a media darling, appearing on late-night talk programmes and at international conferences. It even received Saudi Arabian citizenship in 2017, making it the first robot to have such a status legally.

Regarding India, the nation boasts of technological advancements as well as advancements in the field of robotics. Consider Temi, autonomous robots that are present at Kempegowda Airport in Bengaluru and provide information and instructions to travellers. The robot possesses strong sensors as well as conversational and mapping abilities. Similar to this, Bengaluru’s Koramangala branch of HDFC Bank unveiled IRA 2.0, an interactive humanoid, back in 2018. The robot was created to communicate with clients, react to questions about banking, and guide them through the branch using voice commands. These are only a few of the numerous efforts undertaken to make machines more resemble humans.

And with both robotics and AI becoming more sophisticated by the day, it would be interesting to watch how this space would pan out.

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