Plenty of researchers and roboticists are working to make robots more human friendly. By learning how to give a good hug, robots will be able to make us feel safer and even loved. Alexis E. Block and Katherine J. Kuchenbecker from the Haptic Intelligence Department at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany have unveiled a paper that explores the idea of emotionally supporting humans through robot hugs.
The idea is to teach robots to give the kinds of hugs humans will love. HuggieBot can be configured with soft layers of foam, cotton, and polyester, which can be heated to make humans feel the warmth. The robot is programmed to give loose to tight hugs up to 5 seconds. As it turns out, people who tried this robot preferred soft & warm hugs as long as they don’t go for too long.