— New York Post (@nypost) November 16, 2020
What’s it like to have a girlfriend? For years, people on the internet have speculated about this hypothetical experience. Japan has long been at the forefront of attempting to simulate this fantasy with advanced technology by creating a kissing machine, a robotic girlfriend, augmented reality girlfriends, virtual reality girlfriends, a hugging coat, and DVDs in which a girl willingly engages you in conversation. Verily, Japan is a land of wonders where romantic encounters of a sort can actually happen to you and me.
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Would you like to hold hands with a girl someday? Well, yes, of course, we all would. But let’s be realistic: that sort of thing only happens in the movies. For the best alternative experience, we’ll need this new hand holding robot. Sora News 24 reports about how responsive it is:
1. The outer covering is made from soft and pliable gel, to recreate “the tenderness of a woman’s hand.”
2. Osampo Kanojo contains an internal pressure sensor, so that when you squeeze its palm, motors activate and the hand squeezes you back.
3. When walking with a girlfriend, your strides may not perfectly mesh for each and every step. To replicate this, the Osampo Kanojo is mounted on a track that runs perpendicular to your wrist. Walk too quickly, and motors will cause it to slide back, creating a rearward tugging sensation on your arm. While this might seem like an inconvenience, it helps create the sensation that you’re walking with someone who’s taking their own steps next to you, and not just carrying a piece of baggage.
4. Osampo Kanojo has an internal heater, so that warmth will radiate out from its palm and fingers.
5. A human hand isn’t dry like a chunk of plastic or mound of rubber. While a hand that’s slick with sweat would be unpleasant, a certain amount of moisture is needed for an organic feeling. To achieve that, a piece of moistened fabric is placed inside Osampo Kanojo, and when the heater is activated, it causes trace amounts of moisture to be secreted through small pores in the outer covering.
6. As discussed above, two people walking hand-in-hand won’t necessarily have identically timed footsteps, so Osampo Kanojo plays the sounds of your virtual girlfriend’s steps through your smartphone’s speaker, along with the sounds of her breathing and the gentle rustle of her clothing.
7. Last, we weren’t kidding when we mentioned that the designers have included something for your sense of smell. The cloth inside Osampo Kanojo is treated with a women’s shampoo fragrance, so that the subtle aroma of freshly washed hair will waft up from it when the cloth is heated.
-via David Burge