Turns out the technology to make humanoid robots like those in many sci-fi movies from ‘Blade Runner’ to ‘Terminator’, en masse and quickly is possible and exists, according to Japanese electronics and entertainment conglomerate Sony Group Corp, but the company said it has yet to identify how they could be used effectively.
“In terms of technology, several companies around the world, including this one, have accumulated enough technology to manufacture them quickly once it is clear what use is promising,” said Hiroaki Kitano, Sony’s Chief Technology Officer. , told Reuters in an interview.
“We will only invest (for manufacturing) when such investment is deemed necessary. We see potential in humanoid robots, but we also believe that other forms of robots are also very important.”
Sony launched a robot dog called Aibo more than two decades ago. It sold around 150,000 units from 1999 to 2006, then unveiled an advanced version in 2018, selling around 20,000 units in the first six months.
Humanoid robots have been in development for decades by Honda Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. and in September Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk showed off a prototype of his humanoid robot Optimus.
Musk’s company plans to deploy thousands of robots in its factories, eventually expanding to millions of people around the world.
Kitano said Sony, armed with expertise in audiovisual technology and rich entertainment content, including music and video games, was well positioned to play a major role in the metaverse or immersive virtual worlds.
Metaverse is a loose term encapsulating the idea that consumers will spend more time in simulated environments online. As the concept evolves, it has become a buzzword in briefings and a driver of industry affectation.
“When it comes to the Metaverse, it’s not like people show up just because you created a place… Content is what makes or breaks the Metaverse,” he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Kitano told a press conference that Sony will strengthen its research and development activities and identified sensing, artificial intelligence (AI) and digital virtual spaces as key technical areas to boost the Sony’s business expansion.
“Sensors, AI and virtual spaces interlocking together are at the heart of our technology and will be our great strength,” Kitano told reporters.
Sony’s image sensors are widely used in smartphones and are becoming key automotive components as automakers strive to reduce traffic accidents and shift to autonomous driving.