At Furhat Robotics, the mantra “Robots for All” resonates not just in our designs and innovations, but it’s a vibrant discussion in our lunch rooms, meeting rooms, and even the board room. This mantra has become a clear vision that guides us in our pursuit of inclusivity through technology. Let’s break it down.
Robots Everyone Can Identify With
Humanoid robots are more than mere tools; they become a mirror where our human ideals are reflected. The face of the robot matters. We recently updated the robot’s faces to better reflect the diversity of people. Now, the robot features a balanced variety of faces, differing in gender, age, skin colour, and realism levels, emphasising the importance of a robot’s appearance. We’ve also moved towards more stylised faces, which brought its own challenge of avoiding caricature-like faces. Admittedly, there is room for improvements, and adjustments to the faces are in the pipeline. But more excitingly, our soon-to-arrive character editor tool will put the power of the robots’ looks into the hands of creators.
Robots That Treat Everyone Fairly
We firmly believe that robots treating everyone fairly isn’t just a goal, it’s a must. The reality however, is that the capabilities of our robot is tied to the advancements and limitations of the third-party services we use. We’re only as good as the computer vision, speech recognition, and other models we rely on are. Help us keep up the pressure on the quality of these base models!
Robots for Every Creator
Robots for All is also about making robot programming something everyone can get involved in. Our platform isn’t just for engineers and tech wizards. We believe in putting the power of social robotics in the hands of those who know their needs best.
During 2023 we doubled down on our effort of making a development platform for all. At the event “Digital Today” we let seniors team up with youngsters and powered by Generative AI (LLM’s) they created their very own characters on the Furhat Robot in just an hour or so – with no technical expertise! Stay tuned for more details during 2024 on this new tool that combines the new generative AI technology with a social robot. It’s going to be wild!
Robots for Every Sector
The mantra Robots for All also incorporates all kinds of organizations. Having spun off from an academic institution, we have a strong commitment to the research community and the allure of commercial success is ofcourse what drives our investors, but our mission also includes robots for the creative industry, robots as civil servants and as conversation starters in museums and exhibitions (such as Stadt Worm’s museum).
As a startup our philanthropic muscles to engage with the non-profit sector are not huge, but we cherish every opportunity we get to do our part to shape a better world, such as promoting women in tech with Pink Programming or Womanengineer.
Robots for the Whole World
Language and geographical barriers can limit technology’s reach. Robots for All also includes our vision of using technology to break language barriers. In 2023, we were thrilled to expand the robot’s language capabilities, thanks to the addition of voices from Microsoft Azure. Seeing people’s delight and surprise when conversing with the robot in their native language is always a highlight. Cutting-edge technology does not need to be synonymous to English, nor should it be.
Conclusion: A Future Shaped by Inclusive Robotics
The vision of Robots for All is more than a slogan; it’s a roadmap for a future where technology is as diverse and inclusive as the society it serves. As we embrace this vision, we step closer to a world where technology is more human, which in our books is a world that is inclusive of all.
Do you have an idea on how we can support a more inclusive social robotics industry? Reach out!