Do you need a hug? Are friends and family not around? As seen here, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) and ETH Zürich may have just the solution in the form of HuggieBot 2.0.
Based on a previous robot created by one of the paper’s co-authors Alexis E. Block, HuggieBot 2.0 uses computer vision to detect when a participant is approaching for an embrace, and wraps its 6-DOF JACO arms around them when in position.
An LCD screen allows HuggieBot to output facial expressions, which along with overall robot functions, are controlled by an onboard computer. To determine when to end the hug, it employs an inflatable “HuggieChest” microphone and pressure sensor setup, read with the help of an Arduino Uno. When a person releases the hug, the robot can do the same, averting any robo-human awkwardness.
(Image credit: Block et al.)