Robotic Buddy, who takes a seat on your shoulder and makes sure you have company at all times is developed by Japanese researchers.
The robot not only acts like an avatar, but also tries to mimic human actions as accurately and realistically as possible while it rides along on one's shoulder.
This wearable miniature robot could be inhabited by a friend from anywhere in the world and duplicates the speech and gestures of your friend right there for you to interact with directly.
Researchers from Yamagata University are developing MH-2 to make sure one will never have to be alone again, the Discovery News reported.
MH-2, where 'MH' stands for "miniature humanoid", is a wearable telepresence robot, which acts as an avatar for a remote operator.
With two arms that have seven degrees of freedom (DOF), a three-DOF head and two-DOF body, plus one additional DOF for realistic breathing, MH-2 is designed to be able to imitate human actions as precisely and realistically as possible.
MH-2 uses human brainwaves.
Back home, the friend one whishes to connect to puts on a 360-degree immersive 3D display and stands in front of some sort of motion capture environment (like a Kinect, for example).
As a result, they get to see whatever the robot sees.
Meanwhile, the robot on your shoulder acts like an avatar, duplicating the speech and gestures of your friend right there for you for a direct interaction.
However, for all this to work convincingly, gestures need to be reproduced accurately and quickly, at a speed equivalent to a human being making gestures in real time.
This is why MH-2 is so intricate and requires that gigantic backpack full of servos, which control its joints by tugging on wires.
But, this backpack doesn't look like it's probably a whole lot of fun to carry around for extended periods of time.
That is why; the researchers are trying to find ways to reduce the bulk of the 22 actuators that are currently required to operate the MH-2.
Until that happens, one will just have to accept the fact that using the MH-2 could possibly make the user look like a little bit of a robot geek.