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Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

Kissing potato bot lets you smooch long distance

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CNET Editor

Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

A Singapore-based robotics company has created an egg-shaped robot that will let users share romantic, long-distance kisses.

(Credit: Lovotics)

We've never heard so many fancy words for such a silly product.

Revealed last month at the Designing Interactive Systems conference in Newcastle, the UK, the creepy-looking robot comprises an egg-shaped "head" with a pair of rubbery lips.

It "facilitates intimate human telepresence with the real and virtual worlds", according to the video below. Contained within the egg are electronics that control the lip pressure, movement and shape of the lips for kissing human to human, human to robot and robot to robot.

According to New Scientist, Hooman Samani of Lovotics, the robotics company that developed the mobile gadget, said, "People have found it a very positive way to improve intimacy in communications with their partners when they are apart."

But it's not for pervy purposes, and it won't hit the market until all ethical considerations have been ironed out. "I am not interested in sexual uses for it," Samani said.

It's not the first time that romance has been electronicised. Just a week and a half ago, we saw an AR girlfriend — and other devices have attempted to bring humanism to long-distance communication, too, such as the Telenoid R1 telephone interface and Pillow Talk long-distance relationship pillows.

This isn't Lovotics' first crack at a kiss bot — although the first version looked a lot less uncanny valley.

Maybe we're wrong, but we're not entirely sure that this is anyone's cup of tea. Oooh yeah. Let's get down with some "bi-directional physical communication", baby.

Or not.

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