Kissing Your Robot?

It’s one thing to really love your robot (well, that’s a bit weird too), but kissing it?  That’s just mega-weird.  The “Kissinger” is around the same size and shape as a softball and comes with a pair of touch-sensitive lips that works out how each partner delivers their kiss and then does it in their stead.  Developed by AI Singaporean researcher Hooman Samani, the robot’s virtual mouth can help create intimacy in a long-distance relationship, or add some excitement to a video game.

Samani argues that not only will the Kissinger be able to provide assistance in those long-distance relationships, it will also be able to bring a link in virtual worlds that will result in a whole new dimension of gaming.  He said that humans will be able to “kiss virtual characters while playing games and receive physical kisses from their favorite virtual characters.”  In addition (and this really sounds weird), a “more intimate relationship” will be able to develop between humans and robots.”  He added: “kissing is a very important mode of human communication that involves joining lips in order to express many deep felt positive emotions such as affection, respect, greeting, farewell, good luck, romantic affection or sexual desire.”  And now, technology has the answer; it is providing us with an upgraded interaction.

Samani has had other – similar in weirdness – creations.  He developed a pair of cabbage patch doll “surrogates” which mimic the human voice and movements online through motion-tracking-sensors, microphones and speakers. So one could wake up to a doll waving at them, chanti ng “good morning.”  Makes one wonder why one needs to find a mate in life…