Sophia the Robot has a sister: Little Sophia

Ruben Baart
February 7th 2019

Robot Sophia is pretty much the international face of the ‘modern robot’. Sophia is the Audrey Hepburn-inspired humanoid robot who stands out for multiple reasons. She is the first robot granted human citizenship (in Saudi Arabia) and has met up with more politicians and celebrities than one would meet in a lifetime. Sophia is advanced, yet not very portable and expensive.

Now the superstar robot has a little sister: Little Sophia, an educational companion for ages 7-13 getting kids excited for AI and coding learning. And in contrast to ‘big’ Sophia, her sister is a lot easier in use and more affordable (from $99).

The family resemblances are... uncanny (to throw a fitting metaphor on the table).

Little Sophia is something between a toy doll and a real robot, and is being developed by Hanson Robotics (the same company that also develops OG Sophia). Like Sophia the robot, her younger sibling can walk, talk, sing, play games and, tell jokes. She’s about 35 cm tall and looks as if Robocop had a baby with a Bratz doll.

Programmable via mobile app, she’s able to mirror the movement of its owner, making it both a fun toy and also an educational tool. Promising unparalleled levels of feedback for users, the idea is to create a robot friend and tutor, which will build up a lasting relationship with kids.

For now, we're applauding the developers for inspiring a broader, more inclusive generation of young kids to learn how to code.

“Our vision at Hanson Robotics is to bring robots to life,” said David Hanson, founder of Hanson Robotics, in a statement. "Robots will soon be everywhere. How can we nurture them to be our friends and useful collaborators?"

A vision we can only agree to (remember HUBOT).

The irresistible Little Sophia is currently up for adoption via a Kickstarter campaign.

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Should men be able to give birth to children?


Koert van Mensvoort: Is the artificial womb frankenstein-like symbol of (male) engineers trying to steal the magical womb from women? Or… is it a feminist project and needed to reach through equality between the sexes? I personally lean towards the latter. To me it feels like progress if a girl can tell a guy to carry the womb for a change.

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