The battle wages on between brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers. Rates of shoppers opting to purchase products and services online continue to rapidly grow, due to the ease, speed and customized experience on offer. This has been a problem for retailers with physical stores for years, something that has only been exacerbated by the recent pandemic. Unique experiences through innovation can be a key driver to bring customers back into stores and differentiate services from online competition. Here, we take a look at how social robots are playing a role in this retail experience shift.

Lifelong learning and development is becoming increasingly important as jobs and desired skills change quickly. In a world where more and more “hard skills” are handled by machines, practicing and perfecting one’s professional social skills becomes even more essential in order to stay relevant. But finding the opportunity to train and prepare for social contexts and situations can be challenging — we do after all need a counterpart to practice with to make it closer to the real world. Could social robots be part of a new employee training revolution and practice professional, social skills with humans?

Credit: Aagjestudio

“The adventure of life is to learn” — this was once said by the writer William Arthur Ward, and while maybe not everyone would agree on the adventure aspect, learning new things is a key part of life. Just like any other industry, it’s necessary for the education industry to continue to innovate and be open to new methods of learning — not only to keep students engaged, but also to cater for unexpected circumstances like the current COVID-19 situation, where many students find themselves studying remotely while schools and universities are closed. At Furhat Robotics, we believe that social robots are part of transforming the future education landscape!

A few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, with closed borders and holiday plans revised into staycations, it is painfully evident that the tourism sector has been severely affected by the crisis. Global tourism has previously been on the rise, with close to 1.5 billion tourist arrivals in 2019, and although the drop in 2020 is thankfully believed to be temporary it is clear that travelling and tourism will look different in the post-pandemic world. Can social robots be part of the solution?

Due to the pandemic, there is an estimated 850 million — 1.1 billion losses of international tourist arrivals.

Loneliness and social isolation among the general population is swiftly becoming a pandemic of its own during this period of huge uncertainty. During a time when human contact is limited, healthcare practitioners are looking for new and innovative methods of engaging those struggling during these times. In this blog, we’re looking at how social robots can be a solution that will combat loneliness, and provide value beyond the post-COVID era.

The loneliness pandemic

The fact that healthcare providers are under high pressure, suffering from a global shortage of medical staff, should not be news to anyone. Earlier this year, WHO estimated that an additional 18 million healthcare workers will be needed by 2030, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic making it painfully clear that we are in desperate need of more skilled (and healthy) healthcare workers. So, how can social robots reduce the workload on over-stretched healthcare providers?

What are social robots and how will they affect our society? In times of rapid technological advancements, with robots supporting us both with practical and emotional tasks throughout the COVID-19 crisis, that’s a very valid question to ask oneself. How do we define a social robot? What should it look like and be able to do? How does a social robot interact with people? Where do they belong in society and how do they help us?

A social robot with proper visual articulation will allow us to suspend our disbelief for longer. Yes, of course we logically know that it is merely a machine, but if it looks and acts coherently like a character, we will still allow ourselves to be immersed in non-verbal interaction.

You are designing a social robot interaction. You are fighting against the monotone intonation of speech synthesis, against latency in the speech recognition and against the very narrow conversational path you have to lead your users down because “real” AI does not exist yet. How can you avoid your interaction being experienced as slow and flat? How do you make it come to life?

If your robot is a 2-dimensional, undefined character — a conversation with it…

Furhat Robotics

Furhat Robotics is a Stockholm-based startup building the world’s most advanced social robotics platform. Visit us at

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