Not exactly a sex robot, but intimately authentic for small-scale long-distance love.
Hooman Samani is an artificial intelligence researcher in Keio-NUS CUTE Center and proponent of “Lovotics” which he describes as “the research of human-to-robot relationship.” He has designed his latest creation with long-distance lovers in mind.
In the hopes of creating a new generation of robots, machines that can both love and be loved by humans, Samani introduces the Mini-Surrogate, a project in which small human replicas are used to mimic a physical presence in another location, albeit a much smaller and more compact presence.
The small doll-like figures use Kinect-style motion capture along with video and audio input to translate movement and sound across the internet into the tiny robot. Progression and evolution of this technology should be able to increase the functional size and capacity of the surrogates, but for now they seem limited primarily to providing an anthropomorphic visual aid for longing long-distance lovers trying to keep in touch, rather than a fully functional robotic replacement.
What do you think? Are these adorable telepresence robots amazing advances in long-distance communication, or creepy replacements for current web-based “face to face” video interaction?