A new nurse robot - the sister of the Sophia robot - is born



The "father" of the world's first robotic citizen Sophia has just launched a new robot model called Grace, aimed at serving the healthcare market, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The robot Grace has a bold Asian face, wearing a blue nurse uniform.  This robot is equipped with an infrared camera mounted on the chest, which can measure the temperature and reaction level of the interactor.  The robot uses artificial intelligence to diagnose diseases and can speak English and Chinese.

 “I can visit patients and make them happier.  I can also do talk therapy, keep patient records, and help other healthcare workers," Grace told reporters as she stood next to her sister Sophia at the Hanson Robotics factory in Hong Kong.

A new nurse robot - the sister of the robot Sophia - is born

A new nurse robot - the sister of the Sophia robot - is born / ph: Reuters/Joyce Zhou

The design of Grace's appearance as a medical worker and the ability to interact socially is aimed at reducing the burden on the frontline staffs in hospitals that are overwhelmed during the pandemic.

Inventor David Hanson said that Grace can express emotions with 48 facial expressions.  “A lifelike model will help build trust and create a natural attachment when interacting face-to-face,” he said.

Awakening Health - a joint venture between Hanson Robotics and Singularity Studio - is expected to mass produce a beta test version of Grace in August.  The company also plans to launch this generation of robots next year in markets including China, Japan and South Korea.

Hanson said that the cost to build the robot, which is now on par with a luxury car, will drop once the company produces tens or hundreds of thousands of robots.

Grace launched in the context of the global impact of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that has made the need for robots urgent.

Being stuck at home due to the blockade and restriction orders during the COVID-19 period, many people's psychology has been affected by negative thoughts.  "If they are helped through these robots, it will certainly have a positive impact on society," commented Kim Min-sun, a professor of communication at the University of Hawaii (USA).

A new nurse robot - the sister of the Sophia robot - is born

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