Paper, Rock, Scissors with Sophia by Hanson Robotics

by Nicole on April 29, 2016

Paper, Rock Scissors with a Robot! Yes please! Sophia is a humanoid robot who has a personality, makes eye contact and now can play games. We take a closer look at Intel’s Developer Forum in Shenzhen.


David Hanson, who founded Hanson Robotics in 2003, wants to bring to the world “humanlike robots with greater-than-human wisdom.” Sophia has 62 facial and neck architectures and a patented silicon skin called Frubber. Cameras mounted inside her skull peer through her “eye” allowing her to recognize faces and make eye contact.


Today Sophia is sporting a new accessory an Intel Real Sense camera which allows her to play Paper, Rock, Scissors. RealSense cameras feature three lenses, a standard 2D camera for regular photo and video, along with an infrared camera and an infrared laser projector. The infrared parts allow RealSense to see the distance between objects, separating objects from the background layers behind them and allowing for much better object, facial and gesture recognition than a traditional camera. This is what allows Sophia to be able to play Paper, Rock Scissors which she was unable to do with her existing cameras.

Sophia can have a conversation, using speech recognition software. She is even equipped with what Hanson Robotics calls its “Character Engine AI” software, or a personality.


Robots that can play games and deliver sass when they’re winning beg the questions about where society lands on giving robots ethics. The Three Rules of Robotics immediately come to mind, but truth that nags is the reality that humans barely have a handle on what it means to be human. If humanity barely has a handle on what it means to be human and have an identity, how can we expect robots to have ethics?

Exciting times are ahead in tech and Robots like Hansen’s Sophia should be at the center of the debate.