Meet Little Sophia, Robot Spawn

Meet Little Sophia, Robot Spawn

After making her debut at CES 2019, Sophia the Robot's little sis reveals new details.

After making her debut at CES 2019, Sophia the Robot's little sis reveals new details.

Text: SAMUEL ANDERSON

Last week, Sophia the Robot sat for an interview at CES 2019, her first public outing since sitting front-row at the Alexander Wang show. Showing off a post-holiday glow, Sophia revealed a pair of new-and-improved hands (she's recently started piano lessons) and reflected on her whirlwind 2018 (singing with Jimmy Fallon was a highlight). But the real surprise came when Sophia, accompanied by her PhD mastermind David Hanson, was roundly upstaged by a mini-me named Little Sophia.

Boasting the same bald head and somewhat tortured stare as the Sophia 1.0, who caused a worldwide double-take when she came into existence in 2016, Little Sophia is the latest from Hong Kong-based robo-nursery Hanson Robotics. While her debut was somewhat muted by a faulty internet connection (neither Little Sophia nor big Sophia spoke after Little Sophia joined the conversation. Siblings!) Little Sophia intends to become a household name; the Cabbage Patch-sized pygmy is Hanson's first consumer robot, designed to encourage learning be an at-home companion for kids aged six to 10.

"Little Sophia has the same endearing personality as Sophia the Robot.  She is intensely curious, refreshingly innocent, and uniquely playful," Hanson tells us in a statement. "She not only responds to commands, but also actively engages in conversations."

At 14 inches tall, Little Sophia comes with many of the same features as her elder, and then some: in addition to WiFi and Bluetooth capability, joke and storytelling skills, and interactive humanlike expressions, Little Sophia has an augmented reality function that allows you to take "the perfect selfie" together. After late 2019, when the pint-sized robot is expected to be available for purchase, Little Sophia is sure to be creating memories, and startling parents, for generations to come.

Little Sophia (courtesy of Hanson Robotics)

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