Grace, the first humanoid robot nurse to care for COVID-19 patients

Humanoid robot Grace, helps COVID-19 patients REUTERS / Joyce Zhou

Now, the famous humanoid robot Sophia has a sister named Grace. Both have been created by the same parents, the Hong Kong scientists who have come up with the idea that Grace was born to help coronavirus patients cope with the disease.

Dressed in a blue nurse’s uniform, Grace has Asian features, neck-length brown hair, and a thermal camera on her chest to take a temperature and measure the respiratory responsiveness of patients. What’s more, uses artificial intelligence to diagnose a patient and can speak English, Mandarin and Cantonese.

Uses artificial intelligence to diagnose a patient and can speak English, Mandarin and CantoneseREUTERS / Tyrone Siu
Uses artificial intelligence to diagnose a patient and can speak English, Mandarin and CantoneseREUTERS / Tyrone Siu

I can visit people and make their day with social stimulation, But I can also do talk therapy, take bio-readings, and help healthcare providers, ”Grace explained as she stood with her“ sister, ”Sophia, at the Hanson robotics workshop in Hong Kong.

“Grace’s resemblance to a healthcare professional and her capacity for social interaction is aimed at ease the burden of overwhelmed hospital front-line staff during the pandemic”Explained its creator, scientist David Hanson, who thinks that the robot is aimed at the health market and designed to interact with the elderly and those isolated by the coronavirus pandemic.

A human appearance facilitates confidence, noted its creators - REUTERS / Tyrone Siu
A human appearance facilitates confidence, noted its creators – REUTERS / Tyrone Siu

“A human appearance facilitates trust and natural engagement because we are programmed for face-to-face human interactions, ”Hanson continued, explaining how Grace can simulate the action of more than 48 major facial muscles and have one comforting demeanor designed to look a bit like anime characters, often a fusion of Asian and Western styles.

In this sense, David Lake, CEO of the joint venture between Hanson Robotics and Singularity Studio, has announced that Awakening Health intends to mass produce a beta version of Grace by next August: “There are plans to fully implement it next year in places like Hong Kong, China, Japan and Korea.”

Grace has Asian features, neck-length brown hair, and a thermal camera on her chest to take a temperature and measure the respiratory responsiveness of patients.  REUTERS / Joyce Zhou
Grace has Asian features, neck-length brown hair, and a thermal camera on her chest to take a temperature and measure the respiratory responsiveness of patients. REUTERS / Joyce Zhou

“The cost of manufacturing robots will decrease once the company makes tens or hundreds of thousands of units,” Hanson explained. “A human appearance facilitates trust and natural commitment because we are programmed for face-to-face human interactions, “added the expert, explaining how Grace can simulate the action of more than 48 major facial muscles and has a comforting demeanor designed to look a bit like anime characters, often a fusion of Asian and Western styles.

Grace’s launch comes as the global impact of the coronavirus has made the need for humanoid robots urgent, he said. Kim Min-Sun, professor of communication at the University of Hawaii. Trapped at home during confinements by the COVID-19Many people have seen their mental states affected by negative thoughts. “If they can get help by deploying these social robots in intimate settings, it will certainly have a positive impact on society,” he concluded.

Grace's launch comes as the global impact of the coronavirus has made the need for humanoid robots urgent.  REUTERS / Tyrone Siu
Grace’s launch comes as the global impact of the coronavirus has made the need for humanoid robots urgent. REUTERS / Tyrone Siu

The Hanson Robotics company, which built Grace, has already received several accolades for its previous robot Sophia which had its formal introduction in March 2016 and which a year and a half later became the first robot to obtain Saudi citizenship. “I want to thank the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I am very proud of this distinction. It is historical, to be the first robot to be recognized with a citizenship ”, Sophia had told the public during the announcement.

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