Tue, Jun 28, 2011 - Page 13 News List

Japan’s ‘Sense-Roid’ replicates human hug
擁抱不求人 穿上「觸覺夾克」即可自己搞定

A student at the University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo demonstrates the use of “Sense-Roid” at the annual Virtual Reality Expo in the city last Wednesday.
一位日本電氣通信大學學生上週三於東京年度虛擬實境展,示範「Sense-Roid」的使用方法。

Photo: AFP
照片:法新社

Japanese inventors have pushed the frontiers of technology with the ultimate companion for lonely singles — a wired torso-shaped device that you can hug and that hugs you back.

The “Sense-Roid” looks like a tailor’s mannequin with silicon skin and is packed with pressure sensors. It is connected to a jacket worn by the human user that replicates the embrace with the help of air compressors.

The illusion of a mutual hug with the half-humanoid is enhanced by artificial muscles and vibrating devices in the “tactile jacket,” say the inventors from the University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo.

“Many people initially feel surprised and uncomfortable about the unusual experience, but they gradually get accustomed to it until they feel comfortable and pleasant,” said research team member Nobuhiro Takahashi.

“Usually people feel nothing, or they even feel bad, when they hug strangers, but they experience feelings of satisfaction, love and comfort when they hug a boyfriend or girlfriend,” Takahashi said.

“We wondered how humans would feel if they could hug themselves.”

He added that the device could be used in medical therapy and to give comfort to elderly people living alone. However, there were no immediate plans to put the gadget into commercial production.

The “Sense-Roid” was on display at the 3D & Virtual Reality Expo in Tokyo last week.

(AFP)

日本發明家突破科技尖端,已為獨身者推出「終極伴侶」—使用者可以擁抱這個配有線路的軀體形狀裝置,且它也會還以擁抱。

「Sense-Roid」看起來像個裁縫師的人體模型,皮膚以矽膠做成,並且夾克上佈滿壓力感測器。使用者穿上它,就能藉著空氣壓縮機的輔助,仿製擁抱的感覺。

東京電氣通信大學發明家表示,「觸覺夾克」內含人工肌肉與震動裝置,增進使用者與半人形機器人相擁的感覺。

研究團隊中的一名研究員高橋土井表示:「許多人剛開始對於這種不尋常的經驗,感到驚奇且不舒服。但他們逐漸習慣,且感到舒服與愉悅。」

高橋說,「人們擁抱陌生人時,通常沒有感覺,甚至會感到不適。但他們在與男女朋友相擁時,則感到滿足、愛意與舒適。」

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. push the frontiers of v. phr.

突破…尖端 (tu2 po4 … jian1 duan1)

例: Scientists have pushed the frontiers of knowledge with their great discoveries.

(科學家偉大的發現,已突破知識的尖端。)

2. replicate v.

仿製 (fang3 zhi4)

例: We must replicate the process again to the minutest detail so that the same results are reached.

(我們必須以顧全細節的方式,再次仿製此過程,如此才能達到相同的結果。)

3. enhance v.

增進 (zeng1 jin4)

例: The experience of watching a film is greatly enhanced by the addition of a well-written film score.

(一個好的電影配樂將增進欣賞電影的體驗。)


他說,「我們想知道,若是擁抱自己會是怎樣的感覺。」

他補充說,這個裝置可以作醫療用途,並可給獨居老人慰藉。然而,目前並未立即打算將此裝置以商品販售。

「Sense-Roid」上週在東京3D與虛擬實境展上展示。

(法新社/翻譯:林亞蒂)

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