Your Miniature Humanoid Friend

When we were young many of us had imaginary friends. They would accompany us and play when other friends weren’t available. Even now it sometimes helps to have a conversation with oneself although we wouldn’t set an extra place at the dinner table.

But now you can take your friend with you wherever you go. Discovery News in a hot report from the IEEE conference tells us of Yamagata U’s robotics team who have built a miniature humanoid friend that will happily ride along on your shoulder and take in the sights, discuss the poor service that you’re getting in that foreign café, or tell you that you’re lost.

Your miniature humanoid friend can wave his arms around (I suspect that they come dressed as a girl as well as a guy), waggle his head and breathe realistically.

MH–2, as he is affectionately known, isn’t just an animated doll, but due to the wonder of radio waves, is a real world avatar for a real friend who was too busy with a six-pack of their favorite brew to come along on your expedition.

What happens is that they turn on their Kinect or equivalent and MH–2 follows their actions and transmits what they should be looking at back to their TV screen so they too can enjoy the scenery, whether it is buildings, mountains or members of the opposite sex.

MH–2 does come with a sizable life support backpack so you probably wouldn’t want to take him up Everest. Also it could be a bit creepy taking him along to the bathroom. Leaving him outside to chat to strangers would probably be a poor option and, of course, he would never pay half the dinner check.


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