Dave McGoran of the University of West England has built what he called the Heart Robot, a semihumanoid doll that "appreciates" affection. Covered in a variety of sensors, Heart Robot responds to your attentions with a range of expressive and, to be honest, unsettling tools: batting eyelids, a beating heart and pleasant purring, to name a few.
Its designer claims that the Heart Robot is an example of a soon-to-be common "emotional machines," which along with providing entertainment to customers, could be used in hospital rehabilitation scenarios as well. Heart looks like he might be a little fun to play with, but due to the fact that he looks terminally ill and has a serious case of permasad I can't imagine this droopy, disconcerting robot doing a whole lot of good around the children's ward. [BBC via BoingBoing Gadgets]