The world’s most human-like robot has begun work as a university receptionist. With her soft skin, and flowing brown hair, Nadine does not only meet and greet visitors, smile, make eye contact and shake hands, but she can even recognize past guests and start conversation based on previous chats. Created by scientists at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore say robots like Nadine will one day play a part in the workforce.
Unlike conventional robots, Nadine has her own personality, mood and emotions. She can be happy or sad, depending on the topic. The humanoid ‘receptionist’ was presented at a new media showcase Tuesday at NTU, where her human creator, professor Nadia Thalmann, the director of the Institute for Media Innovation who led the development of robots such as Nadine predicted that robots such as Nadine are poised to become more visible in offices and homes in future.” Nadine was created to be a doppelgänger of Thalmann. She can also shake hands with you. “Robotics technologies have advanced significantly over the past few decades and are already being used in manufacturing and logistics”, she said.
Nadine is powered by software similar to Apple’s Siri, meaning it can act as a personal assistant or companion. “Nadine is somewhat like a real companion that is always with you and is conscious of what is happening.” Thalmann said. Robots like Nadine could also be used to “address the shrinking workforce, become personal companions for children and the elderly and even serve as a platform for healthcare services.
Another robot named “EDGAR” was also unveiled by NTU, which described him as a ‘telepresence robot’ that can copy and project the upper- body movements and facial expressions of its human user, deliver speeches by “autonomously acting out a script,” and track people he meets to engage them in conversation. Some companies have expressed interest in the robot industry, but the next step for these NTU scientists is to see how they can partner with industry to bring them to market.