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Russian robot “Dunyasha” will work in Thailand

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Russia may start supplying the domestic robot “Dunyasha,” which was presented earlier at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, to Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, India, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kazakhstan.

Oleg Kivokurtsev, one of the heads of the Perm company Promobot, which created the robot, told News.ru. According to him, 200 applications have already been received from these countries. There are also requests from the domestic market, he added.

Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, India, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kazakhstan. And, of course, most of the requests are from Russia,” Kivokurtsev said. He added that in Russia and abroad, Dunyash wants to install in airports, museums and shopping malls to draw attention to businesses.

Kivokurtsev also noted that Dunyash already sell coffee, ice cream and soda in two parks – in Perm and Nizhny Novgorod, work in MFCs in Moscow and Perm, and became patient-trainers for students of Perm State Medical University. According to him, this year robots may be delivered to St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District.

He explained that androids can be used in cafes as vendors, in museums as guides, in MFCs as administrators, at reception desks in hotels, as well as assistants to teachers in universities. “Dunyashees” can even be caregivers in nursing homes, the developer pointed out.

Two months ago, a new Russian android, Dunyasha, was unveiled at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum. The girl with big icy eyes sold ice cream and coffee to businessmen. Oleg Kivokurtsev told how much “Dunyasha” costs, why they want to order it in other countries and what robots will come to Russia in the near future.

– Where can androids be used?

– In cafes as salespeople, in museums as guides, in MFCs as administrators, at hotel reception desks, as teaching assistants in universities. Androids can even be caregivers in nursing homes – for example, they can watch over people with Parkinson’s disease. Robots can pass on urgent requests to medical personnel or social workers, carry out Parkinson’s prophylaxis – communicate with elderly people for hours and keep them in a good psychological and emotional state – with jokes and anecdotes. And, of course, the robot will never be rude.

– At the beginning of your work, you created promotional robots – the same kind of robot promoters, only remotely resembling humans. When did you become interested in developing androids?

Oleg Kivokurtsev with a promobot, photo: Promobot company

– It was back in 2016. We read a study about the second milestone of robotics – the production of androids instead of promotional robots. That is, about creating real clones of living people. We realized that most likely the first copy would not be popular and we would just fall into the “evil valley.” This term by Japanese scientist Masahiro Mori describes a situation in which people become afraid of creatures that look like themselves. However, we knew that the company that created the android would be able to capture a new market.

Our first android robot is “Alex. “Dunyasha,” on the other hand, is our 28th or 29th android.

Alex robot, photo: Promobot company

– What is the difference between “Dunyasha” and Promobot?

– Promobot is a robot that moves on two wheels. It has a mechanical torso on its supporting structure. The torso has a computing unit and a monitor.

“Dunyasha” is a completely different design. This robot has no wheels and cannot move around. But the robot’s torso and arms can make movements. The robot’s head is covered in artificial skin.

– Do you import the skin from somewhere?

– It’s very difficult to find off-the-shelf leather. It’s often either too elastic or too flexible. In the first case, the robot cannot express all the emotions, and in the second case it looks like its face is too tired and pale. That is why we opened a production facility in Vladivostok and create the skin ourselves. In 2022, we developed a three-layer silicone skin, and we used it in Dunyasha.

– Did you write some kind of unique neural network for it?

– No, she doesn’t have a neural network. “Dunyasha won’t be able to hold a conversation. It just reproduces typical phrases for people to order the corresponding goods and services. We did it on purpose.

 

If people could talk to “Dunyasha” about anything, the café would work worse. People would order less coffee and food and spend more time talking.

– How many people worked on creating the android?

– Ten people. They were programmers, designers, and electronic engineers. At the same time, they were developing regular promobots.

– And how much time and money did you spend on Dunyasha?

– The development and production of the first robot cost 10 million rubles and took 10 months.

– How much are you selling it for today?

– A complete copy will cost the client 15 million roubles. If he wants an android with some unique appearance, the price will be higher.

– What kinds of breakdowns can occur with Dunyasha?

– There are three types of breakdowns possible. Hardware, when the electronics break down. Mechanical – for example, a broken gear. Both of these breakdowns cause the robot to stop moving. Software failures are also possible. The robot may stop talking or accepting payments.

– How long does an android last?

– If you treat it with care, it will last more than seven years. We give a one-year warranty.

– Which androids do you consider to be Dunyasha’s competitors?

– This is the Ameca robot, developed by the British company Engineered Arts. It is called the most realistic humanoid robot in the world. It can respond to human movements and speak.

Robot Ameca, photo: engineeredarts.co.uk/robot/ameca

The Sophia robot is from Hanson Robotics of Hong Kong. This robot is popular, participating in TV shows and giving interviews. “Sophia can blink, squint, move her neck, and is known for her controversial sense of humor. For example, in 2016, when asked if she was going to kill people, “Sofia” said yes. Later she also joked about the enslavement of humanity.

Sophia robot, photo: hansonrobotics.com/sophia/

And finally, robots from the company “Neurobotics” from our Zelenograd. They developed a popular “Pushkin” with the appearance of a poet. He can recite poetry.

Робот «Пушкин», фото: neurobotics.ru/catalog/robotics/robot-pushkin/

– How is “Dunyasha” better than Western analogues, and how is it worse?

– Dunyasha has a face that expresses 30 kinds of emotions. The closest competitor to our robot here is Ameca, which can display 11 emotions. Another advantage of our robot is its affordable price compared to competitors. But “Dunyasha” also has one disadvantage. Ameca androids look more realistic.

– How many contracts have you managed to conclude for the Dunyasha after the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum?

– None so far. But I have already received 200 bids.

– From which countries?

– Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, India, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kazakhstan. And of course, most of the requests are from Russia.

– And in Russia, in which regions can “Dunyasha” be supplied?

– They already sell coffee, ice cream and soda in two parks, in Perm and Nizhny Novgorod. They work in MFCs in Moscow and Perm, and have also become patient simulators for students of Perm State Medical University. And this year new “Dunyasha” may appear again in Moscow, as well as in St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District. In Russia and abroad, “Dunyash” want to install in airports, museums and shopping malls to draw attention to business.

– How many androids and promobots does your company produce in total per year?

– About 200.

– How many people are in your team now, and what is your turnover?

– 156 people. Most of them are located in Perm. Seven people work in the production of robot skins in Vladivostok. Annual turnover is 200 million rubles a year.

– How do you estimate the size of the android robot market worldwide?

– It is just forming. Its volume is still less than $1 billion.

– What developments are you doing now?

– We are creating a new line of robotic consultants. If we are not talking about androids, we are working on new industrial and logistics robots. For example, food and medicine factories do not have enough hands, and we will offer them our own, automatic ones that will lift and move loads weighing up to 13 kilograms.

As for logistics robots, they will be in the form of carts on wheels, like in the warehouses of American Amazon online stores. The robots will move goods up to 500 kilograms. We want to present the new products as early as this year.

Robotic forklifts in Amazon warehouse

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