The Future With Conscious Robots

Recently, we have heard a lot about conscious robots and artificial intelligence. The machines which can actually think and solve problems that they encounter. The latest examples can be Tesla’s and Nissan’s auto-driving cars. And moreover, the sudden thrust of autonomous and conscious robots have become the point of discussion for many people. So, here we are going to discuss the future of robotics, artificial intelligence, and conscious/emotional robots.

1. The Birth

The first programmable and digital robot, under the name “Unimate”, was an invention by George Devol in 1950s. And General Motors bought Pepper lately for the role of lifting hot pieces of metals from die casting machines. Since then a lot of changes have taken place in the robotics field. These changes and upgradations have made them more common and useful in a human’s life. Categories of Robots are as follows: autonomous, semi-autonomous and can vary from conscious robots (humanoids) to industrial robots, medical operation robots, and UAV drones etc.

Robots have proven themselves to be more quick, cheap and manageable, these are some of the main reasons for this “rise of robots” revolution. According to a study, automation will affect one in five jobs across the UK.

Roughly, half of the world’s robots are in Asia. Europe has 34%, North America 16%, 1% in Australia and 1% in Africa. Japan has the 40% of the robots in the whole world.

2. Autonomy

Recent advances have made the behavior of robots more sophisticated. These are now performing more sophisticated jobs like working as waiters, counter attendees and also as an alternative to escorts and prostitutes as offered by Café fellatio in Geneva, Switzerland.

3. Neuroscience and Robots

Scientists at from Center of Neuroprosthetics have used Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to show that how brain re-maps motor and sensory pathways following targeted motor and sensory re-innervation (TMSR), a neuroprosthetic approach where residual limb nerves are rerouted towards intact muscles and skin regions to control a robotic limb. This surely counts as a major breakthrough in the field of robotics and neuroscience simultaneously.

The first demonstration of a noninvasive brain-controlled humanoid robot is “avatar”. Its name Morpheus in the Neural Systems Laboratory at the University of Washington in 2006. This noninvasive BCI infers what object the robot should pick and where to bring it depending on the brain’s reflexive response when an image of the desired object or location is flashed. Credit: uwneuralsystems.

4. Artificial Intelligence

In 2009, many experts attended a conference hosted by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) to discuss the possibility that computers and robots might acquire any autonomy, and what threat or hazard will humanity confront. They found some robots have acquired autonomy like being able to find power sources and locking targets to attack with weapons.

Same as “robot”, artificial intelligence is hard to define too. According to the Martin Riedmiller, artificial intelligence is the development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence. Examples are visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.

Keeping in account the definition described above, roboticists are about to achieve this level of artificial intelligence. But they have made a lot of progress with more limited AI. Today’s AI machines can replicate some specific elements of intellectual ability. Some robots can interact socially.


Kismet is a robot at M.I.T’s Artificial Intelligence Lab. It recognizes human body language and voice inflection and responds appropriately. Kismet’s creators are interested in how humans and babies interact, based only on the tone of speech and visual cue. This low-level interaction could be the foundation of a human-like learning system.

However, Kismet and other humanoid robots at the MIT AI Lab operate using an exceptional control structure. Therefore, instead of directing every action using a central computer, the robots control lower-level actions with lower-level computers. The program’s director, Rodney Brooks, believes this model mimics human intelligence. We do most things automatically; we don’t decide to do them at the highest level of consciousness.

The challenge for the scientists is to study how natural intelligence works. Developing AI is entirely different from building an artificial heart — scientists don’t have a simple, concrete model to work from. We know that the human brain contains billions of neurons. And also, that we think and learn by establishing electrical connections between different neurons. The complex circuitry seems incomprehensible.

5. Conscious Robots

Another development by scientists was “emotional chatting machine”. And, it indicates the start of human-robot cooperation. A Chinese firm invented the chatbox. However, it is one step forward to the goal of creating emotionally sophisticated robots. Researchers describe the ‘emotional chatting machine’ as a first attempt at the problem of building machines that can fully understand user emotions.

Prof Björn Schuller from Imperial College London (ICL), explained the work as “an important step” towards personal assistants that could read emotional conversations. “This will be the next generation of intelligence to be met in daily experience, sooner rather than later,” he further added.


Interestingly there was another milestone covered in June of 2015. “Pepper”, an emotional robot was sold out within a minute of the ongoing sale. Created by Aldebaran Robotics and Japanese mobile giant SoftBank, Pepper was available in the market on June 20. It is “the first humanoid robot designed to live with humans,” Aldebaran says on its website.

On the other hand, Laura Bokobza from Aldebaran Robotics elaborates that Pepper is a human-friendly robot suitable for the public. Moreover, It will mainly engage in selling cell phones. Furthermore, Pepper can also help you to have fun. In addition, It can show some dance moves with music and will probably help to entertain your guests. Unfortunately, Pepper can only move on a plain surface as it uses wheels in a triangular structure. SoftBank is using the robots in its stores to greet customers. They also plan to offer Pepper to other stores soon. Fortunately, Pepper does not feel “boredom” as an emotion.


Recently, Sophia robot from Hanson Robotics is the latest addition to the family of humanoid. Also, it is now the first robot having citizenship. Saudi Arabia has become the first country to give a bot this status.

Although Sophia has been known in the past talk unkindly, like that she “will destroy humans,” she remained polite on Friday during a presentation at a conference here.

Besides the accomplishments in this field we, human beings, are still very far away from bringing the Avatar or any sci-fiction robot movie into the reality. Therefore, fully conscious robots are still unreachable. However, experts estimate that till 2050 humans will be able to make robots similar to humans. The robots which have emotions, empathy, and artificial intelligence at the same time, will support humankind in many better ways. And these we call Conscious Robots.

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