Last time PopSci checked in on Singapore-based Lovotics, roboticists there were trying to create an interface for human-robot love by imbuing robots with all the biological and emotional nuances that characterize human relationships. Now, the team there is trying to enhance long-distance human-human relationships via a robotic medium with Kissenger (or Kiss Me, both short for Kiss Messenger we presume).
Unveiled at a design conference in the UK recently, Kissenger is basically an egg-like orb outfitted with two soft plastic lips packed with sensors and actuators. When a human on one end of the kiss transaction plants a kiss on the robot lips, the sensors record the shape changes the kisser creates on the lips and translates those pressure patterns into a mirror image that can be beamed over the Web to another Kissenger. That Kissenger then reproduces the sender's unique kiss for a human on the other end.
It's supposed to be a means of maintaining a sense of intimacy when two people are separated by distance, translating a person's signature kissing style into something that can be transported and delivered to a recipient--provided both sender and recipient are comfortable mugging down with a giant egg. There are a range of potential hang-ups we could point to here, starting with the name of the product, which immediately makes us think of this man:
Not exactly mood-enhancing. See Kissenger in action below.
This may be one of the worst ideas I have ever seen. I'd rather just not kiss or be kissed. The only part of a kiss that matters is the person you are kissing or being kissed by. Especially when it looks like a Mr. Potato Head with just it's lips on.
There is going to be a HUGE market for this once the Adult Film industry gets ahold of it. If "kisses" can be sent from one location to another, it can be recorded and played back at the recievers will. Couple this with advancements in other "Adult robotics" and we are getting quite close to seeing the first real "Love Bots".
Playing Devil's Advocate since 1978
"The only constant in the universe is change"
-Heraclitus of Ephesus 535 BC - 475 BC
According to the Lovotics website they have developed several versions for Kissenger and different types of emotional robots. I wonder if Dr. Hooman Samani wants to add Kissenger to his other robots like mini-surrogate. That can lead to some interesting new applications!
I cant help but laugh it's kinda silly. I instantly thought of Mr. Potato Head. Pull out the eyes, nose, ears, hat, and feet, then just leave the lips which actually look like Mrs. Potato head lips and give a big ole' kiss.
Bizarrely, at several computers at work and at home, the video does not display for me. I guess, I can kiss this article off for its poor demonstration.
icky gross scary weird bizarre just a few thoughts and emotions that instantly come to mind many more to follow.