Japanese robotic torso allows you to hug yourself

When you hug Sense-Roid, it hugs you back with the same strokes and pressure -- which sounds appealing in theory but is rather disturbing to watch.

Sometimes it happens. Sometimes you're having one of those days where you just need a hug, but none of your loved ones is around to give you one.

Well, now there's something you can do about that.

The new Japanese Sense-Roid jacket allows you hug yourself. Yes, you read that right. You can hug yourself. (Let's leave aside the question of whether this would make you feel better ... or worse.)

In order to use Sense-Roid, you put on a jacket that contains 36 pager motors that can vibrate and several air compressors. The jacket is connected by wire to a headless torso that sits on a stick.

To get your self-hug, you walk up to the headless torso and begin hugging and stroking it. The torso, which is outfitted with pressure sensors, observes the pressure and placement of your hug and strokes and sends a signal to your jacket to re-create the same sensations back to you through the jacket.

The pager motors vibrate to replicate your strokes, and the air compressors inflate the jacket to squeeze your torso, reproducing the feeling of pressure.

The researchers say Sense-Roid could be used in medical therapy, but currently, there are no plans to produce it commercially.

You can see how Sense-Roid, produced by the Kajimoto Laboratory at the University of Electro-Communications, works in the video below. Just to warn you, this video is odd, disturbing, sad ... and yet, mesmerizing.

via Popular Science

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com