Robots as a care taker can do many things for us in our daily life such as it can clean our house, remind medications, assemble our furniture, lift patients etc, but can robot wrap us in arms and provide same sense of comfort as human do?
The advancement in technology made possible for robots to act as much like a human and offer many personalised services. Researchers have built life-sized humanoid robot which can give hug to human. The aim of this research is to gauge whether robots can provide comforts like a human.
A robot which is as tall as an average person, weighs450 ponds and make up of foam and polyester programmed to give soft hug to human.
People's reaction for Huggies bot
In a conference at Chicago, Alix Block shared general consensus of people about Huggies Bot. he said that in preliminary test conducted as the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, the bot has given dozens of hugs to around 30 people in different manner such as some short hugs, some long, some with extra squeeze. At the time of experiment few participants were bit wary of robot. But people enjoyed and said that the bot is nice to hug than they anticipated earlier.
After the experiments where people accepted the robot's hug, now Alix is planning to build an advance version of humanoid bot to measure that to what extent robots can provide emotion support to people while hugging as the ultimate aim of the research is to develop robot to provide comfort to people.
Benefits of Huggies Bot
This humanoid bot can offer many benefits such as:
A study in 2015 revealed that frequent hug can reduce the health issues related to common cold. Researcher Alexis Block from Germany says that the Huggies bot is built keeping in mind that how important common hugs are in human's daily life and it can resolve many health issues. Experts believe that even hugs can relieve mental stress to greater extent and blood pressure as well.
Expert's Opinion on Humanoid Bot
Some experts believe that people need emotional support and robots are taking care of people in many ways. So, robot has potential to offer emotional support as well where other are afraid of over dependency on machines.
Tony Belpaeme, a robotic professor in England said that there is growing demand of things that hug or mimic affective touch, so why can't we use robots to resolve this issue. Whereas Cindy Bethel, director of Robotic system Lab at Mississippi State University shows his wariness for training a robot to hug and people dependency or attachments towards robot.
Supplement not a Substitute
Alix Block said that the Huggies bot is developed with the aim to provide comfort to human in case of uncomfortable or difficult situation where a human cannot provide support to other persons. It not the replacement or substitute for human hug but a complement to other people.