Hanson Robotics, the Chinese developer of, among other things, the humanoid Sophia robot, wants to start mass production of robots by the end of the year.

Founder David Hanson said this to the Reuters news agency on Monday.

The company reports that four models, including the Sophia robot, will roll out of the factories in the first half of 2021.

Sophia was introduced in 2016 and has become known in recent years for her presence at various fairs and festivals.

She looks like a human, can talk and has dozens of facial expressions.

In addition to Sophia, the company also markets a robot called Grace, which has been specially developed for the healthcare sector.

According to founder and CEO David Hanson, robots can not only be useful in healthcare, but can also be used in retail or aviation.

Right now, during the corona pandemic, there is a need for robots, Hanson said.

"The world of Covid-19 will need more and more automation to keep people safe."

According to him, the four robots that the company produces are so unique because they look human.

"That can be useful in these times when people are terribly lonely and socially isolated."

The developer says it wants to sell "thousands" of large and small robots by 2021.

It is not yet known how expensive the four models will be.

Earlier, the company spoke of "several hundred dollars" for the Sophia robot, which at the time could only communicate in English.