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5 Nov, 2020 17:58

To have & to hold? Japanese scientists create robot to simulate hand-holding with a girlfriend

To have & to hold? Japanese scientists create robot to simulate hand-holding with a girlfriend

Robotics experts have developed a somewhat creepy-looking device that can simulate the experience of holding hands with a woman, in an effort to combat Japan’s loneliness epidemic.

“For some people, finding a girlfriend is very difficult,” say the researchers behind the project at Gifu University. With that problem in mind, they decided to create a new way for lonely men to “experience holding their girlfriend’s hand more easily” than by actually dating.

Thus, their project was born, a robotic hand called Osampo Kanojo, or the ‘Walking Bride’.

At a first glance, the Walking Bride might seem like just a hand-shaped piece of silicone, but it is actually a fairly sophisticated piece of machinery. A special rail, mounted around the Bride’s elbow, is designed to mimic push and pull motions, simulating the weight of a person that would be attached to a real hand.

The device’s soft skin-like exterior maintains the temperature of a human body, with artificial pores expressing liquid to create artificial sweat.

The fake girlfriend can even be paired with a smartphone app that plays the sound of a woman’s footsteps. It is also scented with a special perfume mix of soap and cosmetics, designed to imitate the smell of a real woman’s skin.

Currently Osampo Kanojo only has a female variant, so those on the search for a ‘Walking Husband’ might have to wait.

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The developers stressed that its purpose is to comfort not only the solitary men of Japan, but also those experiencing anxiety due to social isolation amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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