Inventor pins hopes on 'ro-butt'

2012-07-05 22:04

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tokyo - The mechanical buttocks may look like a new low for the world of Japanese robotics, but they might actually mark a new leap into the future of humanoid development.

Inventor Nobuhiro Takahashi programmed his creation, called "SHIRI" or "butt" in Japanese, to respond with different emotions to different human touches.

Takahashi hopes to use the proto-type technology to develop responses which can be applied to other part of a robot's body, in particular the face, to help with non-verbal communication.

He decided to develop his technology with a rear end because a bottom's movements are large and make it easier to convey emotion.

"I wanted to try and use a butt to reflect emotions - fear, joy and relaxation," the 24-year-old Takahashi, a graduate student at the Tokyo University of Electro-Communication, told Reuters.

Robots are able to communicate with voices but have largely lacked the sort of non-verbal, physical responses that help power much of human communication. Takahashi hopes his technology can overcome that.

To get a robot to show fear, Takahashi would use a hit, or in the case of the buttocks, a spank.

"Fear is a very human - very living - emotion, so it's expressed with force, with a spank," he said, speaking inside a black tent designed to keep light from damaging the silicon-coated invention.

The robot bottom responds to a hit with quivering. A slow wobble is its default state, the sign for relaxation, while a gentle stroke brings clenches that Takahashi said signal pleasure.

"If we could apply this technology to conventional humanoid robots - these things which are on the dividing line between man and robot - well, they would be able to express feelings sufficient to communicate with humans properly," he said.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    japan  |  robotics

linking and moving

2015-04-22 07:36 publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Lancaster comes out guns blazing
Namibia's Bothma banned
LIVE: New Zealand v Tonga
Boks more focused after Japan shock
Traffic Alerts

It is always easier to notice the faults in others rather than face our own. Focusing too much on the perfect and ideal more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.