This Is Awkward: Emotional Robo-Butt

By Will LeBlanc | 9 years ago

If I were to use the term “robo-butt”, your mind almost immediately thinks two things; sex toy, and Japan. In the case of SHIRI, a robotic buttocks simulator (for lack of a better term), it’s no sex toy at all, but does find its way here from the land of the rising sun.

The device is said to express emotions based on input from the “user”, and as you can see from the following video, said user is a veritable musician of the butt. Check it out and then maybe go take a shower so you don’t feel so creepy.

Look at this guy. He’s playing that thing like it’s some sort of ass timpani, and occasionally like he’s a butt DJ. According to MSNBC, SHIRI creator Nobuhiro Takahashi says that the experiment is used “to approach the creation of sensitive and subtle expression by a humanoid robot using organic constructs.” Sure, now that robots are walking up stairs and jogging without human aid, why not have them start to feel and respond to touch in a way that humans do, right?

But why a butt? You can see SHIRI twitching and pulsing and clenching based on the stimuli the user is inputting, but is a butt really that much more responsive than an arm or a back? To be fair, I’m not frequently in a situation where someone is gently stroking my ass, but most of what SHIRI is doing isn’t something I’ve experienced.

Maybe this guy’s science is so next level that luddites like myself just can’t wrap their heads around the idea of a fake butt being more expressive than any other part of the human body. Then again, maybe he’s just a weird Japanese guy. He wouldn’t be the first.