You probably know Sophia, the humanoid robot built by Hanson Robotics. What you might not know is that it will have a little sister called Little Sophia. It can walk, talk, sing, play games and, like her big sister, tell jokes. Little Sophia can be programmed in Blockly and Python. The good news is that Little Sophia will arrive at Adelaide Robotics Academy in December 2019.
Why are we so excited to have a new robot on board? Because it will be the perfect addition to assist girls in taking up Robotics. And why is STEM so important for girls? According to Hanson Robotics, “the growth of STEM jobs in the future is expected to skyrocket. However, there’s a lack of women in these fields meaning fewer female role models, both for current female STEM employees and for girls still forming career choices. There’s no evidence that girls are less capable in these fields, but rather that they often ‘feel’ less capable, partly due to stereotyping. Stats vary by country and by discipline but generally speaking, women make up only 15-25% of the current STEM workforce, and the gap is broadening. We believe that Little Sophia can help to introduce STEM, coding and AI to children – especially girls – in a fun, safe, inspiring and interactive way that will make a difference in reversing the current trends.” We couldn’t agree more, so let’s have a look at what we should expect: