Japanese video sharing site NicoNico every once in a while holds a new invention that captures the imagination. Who could forget the auto targeting waste basket or the robot hand that can work a calculator?
The field of robotics has taken another leap with the development of a robot which gives mankind what all machines should: hugs!
The “Riaju Coat” (Fulfillment Coat) was developed by a team of students at Tsukuba University in order to simulate the joy a young man feels when his girlfriend hugs him around the waist from behind – using two robotic pincers.
Motors attached to the back of the jacket operate the “arms” and is synched up to an audio track. These are controlled by PC through a USB connection.
The user slips on some headphones and hears footsteps run up from behind. Then a voice saying either: “I’m sorry, were you waiting?”; “Watch your back!” (in a cute way); “Guess who?”; and “Blind side!” is heard followed immediately by a synthetic hug.
The voice of the girlfriend is provided by voice over artist Yu Shimotsuki who worked on games such as Office Lady Bondage Climax Torture and Wife Teacher: Libido Class 2.
It’s unlikely the fulfillment coat will get far outside of the Tsukuba labs but it looks like those guys had fun making it. And I feel fulfilled knowing what happened to that kid from The Goonies.