If you’ve ever wanted to hold a girl’s hand and take long romantic walks in the moonlight, but could never actually find a girl to do that with, there’s now a high-tech device you can try.
Developed by a research team at Gifu University, in Japan, “My Girlfriend in Walk” is an ingenious device that aims to recreate the experience a girlfriend’s hand, without an actual girlfriend. The act of walking hand in hand with the opposite sex, be they partner or friend, can be very satisfying, but we don’t always have someone to do it with. Luckily, technology has evolved enough to provide a viable surrogate, kind of…
My Girlfriend in Walk consists of an advanced robotic hand complete with a microcomputer, pressure sensor, motor, film heater and soft, skin-like material, as well as a companion smartphone app. The metallic hand is covered with a soft gel material designed to reproduce the tactile sensation of touching another person’s skin, but engineers at Gifu University went far beyond that to recreate the hand-holding experience.
The warmth of the hands is also reproduced with the help of a film heater, and a damp cloth sandwiched between the robotic hand and the gel-coating oozes liquid through tiny holes in the skin-like material. Fragrances can be added to this artificial sweat to recreate the smell of a certain person.
When you grip the device, the built-in pressure sensor detects the strength of the grip and My Girlfriend in Walk grips back with comparable force. Also, in order to reproduce the sensation of one person falling behind or walking too fast, a motorized rail is fixed to the wearer’s forearm to implement the feeling of being pulled either forwards or backwards.
Finally, in order to further emulate the experience of walking hand in hand with a real person, My Girlfriend in Walk comes with a smartphone companion app that relies on the handheld’s accelerator to detect the speed at which the wearer is moving, and emits various sounds through the phone speakers: footsteps, breathing and even the sound of clothes rubbing against skin.
My Girlfriend in Walk is an experimental device, but its creators believe that it can help alleviate the feeling of loneliness and also offer some much-needed exercise to sedentary people.
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