Sophia’s baby sister, Little Sophia will teach kids about STEM and coding

Sophia is the innovation of Hanson Robotics, a Hong Kong-based company. The Audrey Hepburn-influenced hominoid robot who has graced TV shows and met all sorts of politicians and personalities, and once promised to, well, destroy all of the humankind.

And NOW, Sophia has a baby sister. YES, a smaller (in literal sense) sister, who’s all set to educate kids on everything regarding STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subject and coding.

Little Sophia is around 14 inch (36 cm) tall and is the spluttering twin of her big sister, with an articulate humanoid face placed on top of an artificial robot figure. And unquestionably, she wouldn’t be wholly deprived of the iconic window in the back of her head, giving an exclusive view to the electronics inside. More like a Bratz doll, little Sophia’s face is more animated and toy-like compared to big Sophia (it feels like someone replaced the head of Mega Man with a Bratz one).

Image: Hanson Robotics

Little Sophia can converse, chant, play games and, tell anecdotes (here’s your all in one entertainment). Her primary goal though is to educate kids—especially girls’—among the ages of seven and thirteen regarding STEM, AI, and coding. Little Sophia’s software, and the comprehensive tutorials from the Hanson’s AI Academy, make her an ‘exclusive programmable, enlightening buddy for kids, inspiring children to study through a harmless, collaborative, human-robot encounter.’

Image: Hanson Robotics

Launched on Kickstarter on 31st January 2019, and supporting python and block-based programming languages, Little Sophia encompasses an ‘open’ software platform. This makes the petite buddy exclusively programmable as said by Hanson Robotics. The bot similarly interfaces with raspberry pi, ‘letting kids study about computer electronics and robotics, and help them turn out to be as clever and skilled as their mind will allow.’ And don’t forget, she has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled too (it couldn’t get better than this!).

Image: Hanson Robotics

Little Sophia is capable of showing many emotions and expressions (unlike many humans). When she isn’t educating, she expresses herself through life-like facial expressions like ‘joyful,’ ‘unhappy,’ ‘astonishment,’ ‘grumpy,’ and ‘content.’ Little Sophia can sing, narrate jokes, tell tales, reply to voice instructions, and through the Sophia mobile buddy app’s augmented reality (AR) characteristic, she even poses for selfies (as if there weren’t enough people already doing that). Using smart software, Little Sophia also acts as a home associate, something like Alexa (but through the face of a little person).

Even though Little Sophia appears to be able to hold her own (thanks to the popularity of her sister), she is traveling into a very jam-packed arena.

Hanson Robotics is looking for backing for Little Sophia on Kickstarter, where it’s already gathered more than US$250,000. At a super early bird price, Little Sophia can be bought for $99, before the price goes up to $149. If all goes according to the strategy, the robots ought to be at your doorstep by the conclusion of this year.

Sophia presenting her baby sister, Little Sophia on the TODAY show (Video by: TODAY)

h/t: Digital Trends

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