Big in Japan

Just because technology allows you to create ideas, that may not necessarily mean you should pursue them. The Telerebotics lab from Yamagata University in Japan, has been doing some interesting work, like haptic interfaces and humanoid robots. Recently they unveiled a unique device, the MH-2 (Miniature Humanoid). This is a wearable telepresence robot that lives on your shoulder and mimicks the body language and actions of the user. If you're a bit confused, think parrot and a pirate, but the parrot might be easier to get away with. Stock image Photo source Yamagata University With approximately 20 DOF, the robot does a fairly good job mimicking hand actions, including realistic breathing. The creators also hope to make a final version complete with artificial skin and hair, with suitable clothing. The pack that is required to contain the motors, batteries, and controllers, I’m would guess is nearly 20 lbs. Not a light burden, but sometimes early adoption can be a little painful. To be clear, this is not headed into production anytime soon and is definitely more of a research project in man-machine interaction. Sometimes you do need tp push the edge just to see where it actually is. In my opinion, this design has crossed that threshold. The aim was for users to experience a 360 degree experience, while the unit sits upon your shoulder. I understand what they are trying to do, bring a richer experience for the telepresence users. Body language accounts for a lot of communication between people. Hand gestures, facial expressions, and even body position speak volumes when you pay attention. At least until a hologram device or a really slick virtual reality system is developed, ideas like this will likely be more creepy than practical. Even is this is they type of thing that you would want, would you want to be seen wearing one?

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