Sunday, May 21, 2006



The Huggable: A Therapeutic Robotic Companion for Relational, Affective Touch

to be presented at Siggraph

A new type of robotic companion inspired by pet-therapy research. Unlike current robotic companions, the Huggable features a full-body sense of touch; silent, smooth voice-coil actuators; and an embedded, networked PC.

The core technical innovation is the "sensitive skin" technology, which consists of temperature, electric-field, and force sensors all over the surface of the robot. Unlike other robotic applications where the sense of touch is concerned with manipulation or obstacle avoidance, the sense of touch in the Huggable is used to determine the affective content of the tactile interaction. The Huggable's algorithms can distinguish petting, tickling, scratching, slapping, and poking, among other types of tactile interactions. By combining the sense of touch with other sensors, the Huggable detects where a person is in relation to itself and responds with relational touch behaviors such as nuzzling. more
Will Realdolls become huggable ?

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