I’m all for emotional support robots, especially soft and fluffy ones that look like baby seals. This robot pillow, though, goes a little too far. It’s called Funktionide, and was designed by Stefan Ulrich after a two month research project by our favorite German bio-inspired robotics company, Festo.
The “Funktionide” is an autarkic amorph object whose intention is to provide the user with a atmosphere of presence thus counteracting the feeling of loneliness.
Firstly, if this thing crawled into bed with me, it would cure my loneliness but probably not with a sense of what you’d call relief. Maybe, terror. And secondly, inventing words isn’t fair.
[ Funktionide ] via [ Eggshell Robotics ]
Evan Ackerman is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. Since 2007, he has written over 6,000 articles on robotics and technology. He has a degree in Martian geology and is excellent at playing bagpipes.