Finally, The Hugging Robot Nobody Asked For

Because who wouldn’t want a hug from a lifeless hunk of tetanus, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, ETH Zurich, and the University of Copenhagen put all their eggheads together to create HuggieBot 3.0, a robot designed specifically for hugging humans. Not this human! And why does it look like it was built in a kid’s tree fort?

Put simply, it’s just a basic torso equipped with two six-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF) padded robot arms. It boasts inflatable chambers that can be filled with warm air or deflated, complete with pressure sensors. Controlling everything is a 3D-printed head with an Ubuntu 14.04 desktop computer concealed inside, along with an ROS Kinetic, an Intel RealSense depth-sensing camera, a speaker, as well as a display for showing animated faces.

I guess it comes down to this: would you rather have a hug from a robot, or no hug at all? Or — OR — would you rather make out with a throw pillow? No need to answer that, I already know. Just to be clear though, if you come over you’re not allowed on the sofa.