You can more or less say that Japan is a country where robots rule – absolutely, whether it is in real life or in popular culture. After all, with the likes of Voltron and the Transformers, there is nothing quite like some robot goodness to perk the day up. Well, it seems that the world of robotics have taken yet another step forward in what could very well be the right direction, as robots, unfeeling as they are, could eventually be a source of hugs for us humans. Known as the “Riaju Coat” (translated to Fulfillment Coat), it was developed by a team of students over at Tsukuba University, where its main purpose of existence was to simulate the joy that a young man feels whenever his girlfriend hugs him around the waist from behind.
This particular feeling is achieved using a couple of robotic pincers, where there will be motors attached to the back of the jacket which will operate the “arms”, and these will be synchronized to an audio track, which are subsequently controlled over on a PC via a USB connection. There will also be a voice that goes, “I’m sorry, were you waiting?”; “Watch your back!” (in a cute manner); “Guess who?”; and “Blind side!” before a synthetic hug is dispensed.