Japanese inventors have a way of blowing my mind. This time researchers at Keio University’s Anzai-Imai Laboratory (LMAI) have come up with robotic “Pygmy” rings that look like blinking eyes and a mouth so you can make faces with your hand. Graduate student Masayasu Ogata put on his best suit and sweater vest to demonstrate finger puppets at the Interaction 2012 Conference in Tokyo in March.
Snark aside, these rings actually do have a purpose. LMAI’s research focuses on progress to a world where computers as we know them disappear and robots are used to relay information to users. In that context, this is a helpful step forward.
“Until now, robots have usually communicated with people from a distance. That’s also true of pet robots like AIBO, and androids. Until now, robots haven’t been attached to the human body. We’ve designed this ring-shaped robot as an entertaining communication device, like an accessory that’s fun to wear, to help wearable robots progress beyond the research stage.”