We’re not sure what’s more creepy here; the concept of a hug-simulating robot mannequin or researcher Nobuhiro Takahashi, who demonstrates the unit a little too enthusiatically in the video above.
Called the Sense-roid, a user hugs the mannequin while wearing a specially designed vest that houses a series of air pressure valves. The mannequin has sensors which send information to the vest, which increases and decreases the pressure in the air valves to simulate the feeling of a good old hug.
Takahashi is no stranger to weird simulators; he’s also the brains behind a mad kissing simulator too.
“When people frist try out Sense-Roid, they think it’s creepy,” said researcher Nobuhiro Takahashi. “But gradually, they start feeling safe and secure.”
Why anyone would feel safe and secure in a vest taht looks more dangerous than a particularly clingy boa constrictor, I can’t begin to imagine. One for the loneliest of lonely hearts only, we’d say.