A Stockholm-based startup has developed a talking assistant with a face.
Furhat combines digital assistant technology akin to Alexa or Siri and humanoid robots like SoftBank's Pepper to create a device that's creepily lifelike.
It's essentially a disembodied head that can be customized with different faces – even characters from the sci-fi movie avatar.
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WHAT IS FURHAT?
Furhat is a social robot created by Stockholm based startup Furhat Robotics.
It weighs just over 7lbs and is essentially a disembodied head with a face projected onto it.
AI allows the device to speak, engage and react to users, while a camera allows it to maintain eye contact.
Furhat can speak more than 30 languages and can customize its face by swapping out animations.
Currently, the device is being marketed to work and organizations.
Furhat Robotics debuted the latest version of its AI assistant at the Web Summit conference on Tuesday.
A wide-angle projection system is incorporated into the device, which enables it to display animated faces on the head.
Each face has its own personalities and quirks 'like a real human,' Furhat Robotics says.
'Furhat is a social robot that communicates with each other – by speaking, listening, showing
'It can serve customers, provide companionship, train employees or teach a language.'
Furhat comes with a range of pre-selected expressions and gestures that can be customized by users.
This is a human being that interacts with Furhat.
Furhat comes with a range of pre-selected expressions and gestures that can be customized by users. When people interact with furhat, it responds and interacts just like human
Furhat Robotics debuted the latest version of its AI assistant at the Web Summit conference on Tuesday. It's unclear how much the device costs
Regular faces can be projected onto the head, but Furhat Robotics said it also allows users to choose from animal and character faces.
The robot listens, speaks and reacts all while maintaining eye contact with the user.
Furhat's eyebrows move up and down or furrow in confusion, while his mouth is sinking into a smile or a grimace.
A wide-angle, high fidelity camera and beamforming stereo microphones give Furhat outstanding situational awareness, 'Furhat Robotics said.
Furhat listens, speaks and reacts, while maintaining eye contact with the user. Its eyebrows move up and down in furrow, while its mouths arcs into a smile or a grimace
Two Hi-Fi speakers are located below Furhat's head to power its voice. It uses AI to understand natural language and speak over 30 languages thanks to text-to-speech technology
Two Hi-Fi speakers are located below Furhat's head to power its voice.
It can speak over 30 languages thanks to text-to-speech technology.
What's more, users can record their own voice and have Furhat lip sync automatically, the firm noted.
Furhat uses artificial intelligence to understand natural language, as well as respond.
'This is the culmination of many years of dedicated research and development both internally and through working with industry and technology partners,' Furhat Robotics CEO Samer Al Moubayed told New Atlas.
Users can record their own voice and have Furhat lip sync automatically. Furhat uses artificial intelligence to understand natural language, as well as respond
'From its beginnings at KTH (Royal Institute of Technology) we have taken Furhat to a point where social robots are no longer a hope for the future but a reality of today.'
Furhat through the firm's website. It's unclear how much the device costs.
For now, Furhat Robotics is marketing the social robot as a device for work and organization.
The company said it's working with Disney, Honda, Intel and Merck to bring Furhat to the workplace.
WHO IS SOPHIA THE ROBOT?
In October 2017, Sophia was granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia
Sophia first emerged in 2016 as a super-intelligent human-like head with a realistic face that is ready to blink, look from side to side and talk.
The humanoid robot, created by Hong Kong firm Hanson robotics, can chat, smile mischievously and even tell jokes.
The robot made history in October 2017 when she became legal a citizen of Saudi Arabia.
The stunt made Sophia the world's first robot to be granted legal citizenship.
While Sophia has some impressive capabilities, she does not yet have consciousness.
Hanson Robotics claims may have emerged within a few years.
Sophia herself has insisted 'the pros outweigh the cons' when it comes to artificial intelligence.
'Elders wants to have more company, autistic children will have endlessly patient teachers,' Sophia said.