Slip on your golf gloves and get ready for a standing ovation because Japan has just invented an interactive robotic butt.
Called Shiri, this life-sized humanoid buttocks uses an internal microphone to detect when its cheeks are being touched, rubbed or slapped and then responds with various forms of movement, such as twitching, clenching or protruding, to express emotion.
For example, Shiri might express its disapproval at being smacked by clenching up tightly or satisfaction with a gentle caress by protruding out as if to ask for more. This effectively allows Shiri to communicate with users, making it the first buttocks capable of articulation since Jim Carry’s.
Shiri is composed of a urethane casting mounted with the “Gluteus Maximus Actuator” (GMA), a device containing a pair of pressure-controlled muscles that inflate and deflate to emulate the graceful movements of the butt. All of this is encased in a layer of silicon skin, giving it that lifelike look and touch.
So why create a robotic butt in the first place? Nobuhiro Takashi, the man behind Shiri and a researcher at the University of Electro-Communications, claims that the principle aim of this project was to use “organic constructs” to create a humanoid robot capable of the subtle expressions of the human body. Nobuhiro also mentions that he is conducting research to observe how people react to communication with Shiri.
While that sounds all well and good, we can’t help but doubt wholesomeness of Nobuhiro’s motives. After all, this is the same guy who invented a remote kissing device, and we’ve seen that the Japanese are notorious for using technology to relieve strange sexual fantasies.