Japanese developer creates robotic butt that expresses emotions

[From Design TAXI, where the story includes additional images a 3:51 minute video]

Japanese Developer Creates Robotic Butt That Expresses Emotions

16 May 2012

Tokyo-based interactive developer Nobuhiro Takahashi has created a robotic butt that represents emotions in the form of visual and tactile responses.

Called ‘SHIRI’, the human-like robotic butt expresses various emotions through organic movements of artificial muscles.

SHIRI can twitch, protrude, and be tense—as reactions to a user’s touch, stroke, or slap.

When it’s first approached, SHIRI “twitches” as an expression of fear.

And like a natural reaction, the robotic butt also tenses up after being slapped.

SHIRI is made of rigid urethane skeleton, life-size model pelvis, and a Gluteus Maximus Actuator (GMA) in silicon skin.

According to Takahashi, the GMA is able to reproduce natural changes in the shape of the muscles as well as skin touch sensations by controlling the pressure inside it.

Though rather silly, Takahashi’s project was an attempt at creating “sensitive and subtle expressions” using organic constructs.

Is this another step in the future, where robots have feelings?

[via Nobuhiro Takahashi, Gizmodo Japans and Laughing Squid]

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