Shake that (Robot) Ass

July 13, 2012

Rheanna Sand

Robots can do just about anything these days. They can fly. They can juggle. They can even fly in swarms and play the theme song from James Bond together. Little humanoid robots like NAO can do the evolution of dance - better than I could, admittedly. But if robots are to ever become androids, like the "fully functional" Data from Star Trek TNG, they are going to have to be touch-responsive. But making an entire robot that responds to human touch is a herculean task, so a graduate student from Japan has simplified matters by inventing - get this - an emotionally responsive set of robo-buttocks.

Meet Shiri, the "buttocks humanoid robot." Shiri “expresses various emotions with organic movements of the artificial muscles,” according to it's creator, Nobuhiro Takahashi, who also invented the e-kiss, a machine that allows people to french kiss over the internet.


In it's relaxed, default state, Shiri assumes a slow wobble. When smacked, Shiri will quiver in fear. When stroked, Shiri clenches in pleasure. How Shiri reacts to pinching or playful biting, I never want to know.

Takahashi and others at the University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo hope this technology will someday allow humans to communicate with robots via non-verbal and tactile cues, as we so often do when dealing with other humans.

Personally, I'm imagining my computer quivering in fear when I smack it upside the CPU when it's running too slow, or a Wii remote that scurries under the couch when I die in Mario Bros. Or, more disturbingly, Asimo with a quivering, clenching set of naked buttocks. *shudder*


Ah, Japan. How's the weather down there in the uncanny valley?


"You can touch mine if I can touch yours!"




Email (optional)


© 2010 Science in Seconds. All rights reserved.     Disclaimer  |  Contact  |  Subscribe
Friend Science in Seconds on Facebook Follow Science in Seconds on Twitter Science in Seconds RSS Feed