Hanson Robotics strives to create robots as brilliant as people–what founder and chief scientist Dr. David Hanson calls Genius Machines. Via methods both artistic and scientific, Hanson Robotics creates robots with masterful facial expressions, conversational personalities, walking robot bodies, and adaptive intelligence. In so doing, we seek to understand the fundamental nature of creativity, compassion, and consciousness, and the human perception of robots. We also creatively explore robots as works of art. Manufactured for real uses, our robots currently serve health, safety, and education, and scientific research at universities around the world. Although we have a ways to go before we achieve true Genius Machines, we’ve made real progress. Check out some of our recent work:
1. ROBOKIND now released! Fully expressive, walking, intelligent, ebabling your best research ever—RoboKind provides an unparalleled platform for human-robot interaction: www.hansonrobokind.com
2. Diego, the giant baby robot, arises. Hanson’s robot baby face “DIEGO-SAN’, featured in Forbes, Phys.org, Huffington post, and many other venues:
Description: “DIEGO-SAN”, by Hanson for the Machine Perception Lab at the UCSD Institute for Neural Computation. With a face by David Hanson and Hanson Robotics, which mounts on a body by Kokoro, this robotic baby boy was built with funding from the National Science Foundation and serves cognitive A.I. and human-robot interaction research. With high definition cameras in the eyes, Diego San sees people, gestures, expressions, and uses A.I. modeled on human babies, to learn from people, the way that a baby hypothetically would. The facial expressions are important to establish a relationship, and communicate intuitively to people. As much a work of art as technology and science platform, Diego represents a step forward in the development of emotionally relevant robotics, building on the previous work of David Hanson with the Machine Perception Lab such as the emotionally responsive Einstein shown at TED in 2009 (see below).
3. Hanson Robotics face, on the Hubo body by KAIST.
4. Hanson Robotics at TED 2009, showing an emotionally perceptive Einstein robot, which sees and mimics you.
Description: at the 2009 TED, Hanson Robotics showcased our collaboration with UCSD Machine Perception Lab (Javier Movellan, Marian Bartlett, Nick Butko, Jake Whitehill, Paul Ruvolo), work supported by Stuart Baurmann and David Hanson on our side. This robot tracks faces and sound, percieves facial expressions, and mimics the user’s facial expressions. Our belief is that understanding human expressions can help to model human empathy and enable machine empathy.
5. Hanson Robotics’ Einstein learns about emotions, at UCSD Machine Perception Lab.
6. Philip K Dick Android:
See also: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/social-robots.html and
The android portrait of Philip K. Dick–an intelligent, evolving robotic recreation of the sci-fi writer who authored VALIS, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, UBIK, and many other masterworks. By ressurecting PKD as an android, we seek to realize genius-level AI with compassion and creativity. While we have a long way to go, even the early versions of the robot have made strong leaps forward towards this goal, resulting in an AAAI award for the AI systems, breakthrough abilities in robotic conversations and human-robot interaction, and world renown. The first version was built in 2005 by Hanson Robotics with David Hanson, Andrew Olney with the Fedex Institute of Technology team, the University of Texas at Arlington robotics institute, UT Dallas, and many other contributors, and captivated audiences at the WIRED Nextfest and the AAAI annual meeting. Unfortunately later that year the robot was lost in transit to a Google Tech Talk, and the project remained dormant for 3 years thereafter. This video shows the 2010 rebuild of the PKD android, this time built by Hanson Robotics with funding from VPRO, and collaboration from Bill Hicks, Dr. Kino Coursey, Doug Miles, Matt Stevenson and many others. He exhibits face perception, speech recognition, and conversational intelligence adapting Philip K Dick’s words and life history to generate new ideas during conversation with people.
As of 2012, the PKD android serves the Initiative for Awakening Machines (IAM), wherein the Open Cog team under the leadership of Dr. Ben Goertzel works with the Hanson Robotics and RoboKind teams, to make the leap to true artificial general intelligence (AGI). This work is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and a Hong Kong City ITF grant. We intend to push the PKD android until it evolves super-human creativity and wisdom and transcends in a spiral of self-reinventing super-intelligence–what Philip K. Dick precognisciently described as a Vast Active Living Intelligence System, and what Vernor Vinge describes as the Technological Singularity. We predict this will occur sometime between 15 and 30 years from now.
8. More videos of the Phil:
9. Hanson Robotics in the Smithsonian.
Description: Hanson Robotics was honored in the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Triennial, 2007-2009.
10. Hanson Robotics Alice-Eva at the University of Geneva Miralab; this is a portrait of Dr. Hanson’s wife Amanda.
Description: This robot serves cognitive robotics research at the famous MIRA-lab at the University of Geneva, starting as part of the INDIGO cognitive robotics consortium, in which Hanson Robotics was a founding member. The INDIGO consortium won over $6M Euro in EU funding, and its collaborative research resulting in ground-breaking robots and open-source software, and numerous publications. In addition to the Alice robot, the Aleph robot served the INDIGO consortium, in Athens at the ICS FORTH and museum of Hellenic history. hhttp://www.ics.forth.gr/indigo/
10. Hanson Robotics in collaboration with David Byrne, in “Souls and Machines” at the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid.
11. Jules at Nextfest:
Description: Hanson Robotics’ Jules robot, shown at WIRED Nextfest 2006. Jules had naturalistic eye saccades, converational interactivity, and a full range of humanlike facial expressions. We built Jules for the University of the West of England, but tested Jules wiht our own software first, before shipping Jules. Since then, Jules has served numerous science and development activities in the university research environment.
12. Evolution of Hanson Robots to Zeno RoboKind:
What is this all about? Well, I am Dr. David Hanson, and these videos show examples of my work to develop robots with increasingly humanlike capabilities, in the quest to realize Genius Machines—machines with greater-than-human intelligence, creativity, wisdom, and compassion. To this end, I conduct research in robotics, artificial intelligence, the arts, cognitive science, bioinspired engineering, product design and deployment, and integrate these efforts in the pursuit of novel human robot relations. By raising AGI among us—to be protagonists, friends, and members of our family—I believe they will convergently evolve values analogous to ours, and thus come to truly care for us and earn our trust. Moreover, I contend this evolutionary path bears the highest likelihood of safely realizing human-level intelligent, creative machines. Given the instability of this era, and the increasing complexity of global problems, we desperately need superhuman Genius Machines, intelligence, creativity, wisdom, and compassion, to survive and make the leap to the next stage in human existence. Let’s pull together in an open source Genius Machines movement, and leap into a better future. Thank you!
Here are some of my lectures:
Special thanks to the National Science Foundation, Hanson RoboKind and Intelligent Bots, LLC, the TX state Emerging Technology Fund, N.TX.RCIC, Startech, Daxtron Labs, Open Cog, Scrutable, UTD, UTA, KAIST, UCSD, and our many other supporters and collaborators!