Robots photo

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:

You can love him or hate him, but you probably don't want to kiss him.


You can love him or hate him, but you probably don’t want to kiss him.

Not exactly mood-enhancing. See Kissenger in action below.

New Scientist