The "Heart Robot" that just wants to be cuddled
It looks like a Teletubby that’s had all its skin burned off in an industrial accident, but don’t let that put you off – the Heart Robot is very friendly on the inside.
Designed by The University of the West of England’s David McGoran, the robot likes a good cuddle. Its heart starts pounding when it’s particularly excited, plus its eyes flutter when you touch it – and its puny limbs tense themselves for a smack round the head or a shove down the stairs when it hears raised voices.
Even if we don’t learn that much about science or robotics from it, it still has the potential to make a bloody good toy for Christmas of 2012 – although inventor David says the boring, serious actual use for this emotion-faking technology will come when this software evolves enough to allow us to relate to robots – and could even be deployed in gadgets to keep the elderly company.
Heart Robot is currently on display, and presumably happy about it, at London’s Science Museum. And if David has a few spare hours, perhaps he could incorporate the Tenga Flip to make it a robot we can hug and even get busy with? It’ll need a new face first, though.
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