Hanson Robotics

Hanson Robotics Limited Announces a Partnership with Patrick Tresset to Enable Sophia the Robot to Draw

Sophia the Robot uses her AI software and specially calibrated aluminum arms to sketch portraits

HONG KONG, CHINA SAR —  November 21, 2019 — Hanson Robotics Limited, (www.hansonrobotics.com), creator of the world’s most human-like robots, announces a partnership with Patrick Tresset, a Brussels based artist who develops theatrical installations with robotic agents as actors, to enable Sophia the Robot to draw human portraits. 

Before Sophia puts pen to paper, she uses her eye cameras to capture an image of her subject. Next, her Hanson AI software processes the photo to find the right balance between dark and light, and remove the background around the face. Then, using Patrick Tresset’s artistic algorithms, Sophia turns the photo into a sketch and translates that sketch into lines and curves in 3D space. Sophia then considers the paper, planning the motion of her robotic arm and hand using inverse kinematics and Robotics Operating System (ROS), to then perform the precise quick movements to draw her the person with a ballpoint pen on paper. It typically takes Sophia around 7 minutes to sketch someone’s face, depending upon the complexity of their features. Figure drawing is a new way for Sophia to socially interact with people, expanding her abilities in the arts as well as tech.

Another advancement that enables Sophia’s drawings is her new aluminum arms. Her arms allow for great accuracy and smooth movement to help produce the portraits. While still maintaining a human-like form, her robotic arms allow her to non-verbally communicate and, over time, cultivate meaningful relationships with humans. They also broadly expand Sophia’s capabilities as a platform for R&D and AI research.

“It was amazing to collaborate with the Hanson Robotics’ team on getting Sophia to draw,” states Patrick Tresset. “It was a new channel for me working with Sophia’s arms that are designed to look human and able to perform human-like movements. Sophia’s arms are amazing, very precise and small. I don’t think there are other robotic arms at this level and Sophia is an amazing piece of engineering.” 

“This new capability of drawing is particularly important for Hanson Robotics and Sophia,” states Amit Kumar Pandey Ph.D., President, CTO, and CSO of Hanson Robotics Limited. “It is an opportunity to utilize the new hands and controls of the robot while also illustrating the non-verbal communication abilities Sophia has. It is the manifestation of Hanson’s unique blend of art, science, and technology, which is the core of our company’s competency. This new capability also shows the mutually fruitful cross-disciplinary collaboration possibilities that social robots, like Sophia, can open up. We are thankful to Patrick for working with us on this exciting project, and we have plans for further development in this direction.”   

“It’s wonderful to see Sophia growing and evolving, both as a character and as a platform,” states David Hanson, Ph.D., Founder and Chairman of Hanson Robotics Limited. “The idea of Sophia, who is herself an artwork, generating works of art is both fun, and points to the transformative potential of machine creativity.”

For more information on Hanson Robotics Limited, please visit www.hansonrobotics.com


About Hanson Robotics Limited
Hanson Robotics is an AI and robotics company dedicated to creating living, intelligent machines that enrich people’s lives. The company develops renowned robot characters, such as Sophia, the world’s first robot citizen, which serve as AI platforms for scientific research, education, healthcare, sales and service, entertainment, and other research and service applications.  Hanson Robotics’ scientists, artists, roboticists, and engineers strive to bring robots to life as true friends who deeply understand and care for people, and collaborate with us in pursuit of ever-greater good for all. For more information please visit www.hansonrobotics.com.



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