MIT’s Huggable Robotic Bear Keeps Ill People From Feeling Sad

MIT’s Huggable Robotic Bear Keeps Ill People From Feeling Sad

Normally you think science, lasers, and silicon chips when someone says “MIT,” but Huggable is an MIT invention nonetheless: it’s another smart robot companion, a bit like Paro meets Teddy Ruxpin. Its body is covered in sensors and motors, including webcams behind his eyes and a speaker in his nose, and its designed to respond to you and react like an electronic pet. But it’s a little smarter than Paro: it can act as a telepresence device, echoing the movements of a remotely-manipulated Huggable.


And the remote bear can also be moved by you, which opens up the chance for the possibility of remote-controlled cuddles. It may, at this point, help to remember the bear’s intended for uses in places like hospitals, and in early-learning applications.

It’s the latest version of a device that MIT’s Personal Robots Group has been working on for a while, and as you can see it’s a research device so it’s not exactly wonderfully cuddly at the mo. Still, the group’s working on a refined version that’ll be used in real-life human-computer interaction experiments. [MIT via BotJunkie]