Although one could argue that Facetime and Skype are already nearly perfect telepresence systems, there’s definitely some value in having a jolly little robot sit on your shoulder and transmit, in real time, everything you see and hear to a friend far away. Right? Please say I’m right?
This experimental robot is called the Miniature Humanoid 2 or MH2 and was built in Japan by Yuichi Tsumaki, Fumiaki Ono, and Taisuke Tsukuda of Yamagata University in Japan. The robot requires a big honking backpack so it’s a little bit cumbersome but essentially the MH2 can move around on your shoulder as you move around the world, creating a sort of Master/Blaster relationship or, more likely, a Kuato/host human situation.
Here’s a description from the IEEE:
That’s right: this thing simulates a little friend so you don’t feel so alone. Welcome to the 21st century.