“Humans used to write letters long time ago, and now they’re using Skype, but it’s definitely not enough. We need this technology to improve the lack of personal communication.”

Hooman Samani, a professor at National Taipei University, on Lovotics. Yes, it’s a melding of love and robotics, a term describing Samani’s research into robots that can “love and be loved by humans.” For example, he has developed the Kissenger, a round, cuddly-looking robot with silicone lips that vibrate and “provides the convincing properties of [a] real kiss.” According to the Lovotics website, the Kissenger can act as a middle-robot and enable long-distance kissing between two humans; allow for human-to-robot kissing; and enables humans to kiss virtual characters from games. Can humans really and truly, do you promise, feel loved by robots? Lovotics says it uses an artificial endocrine system that includes fake hormones, and Samani tells the Huffington Post that he has also been working with psychologists and designers because “anthropomorphism or personification are key here.” Is this what those of us who might be romantically challenged have been searching for? “The biggest application will be for people who find relationships difficult and will realize they can fill that void,” David Levy, artificial intelligence expert and author of “Love and Sex with Robots,” told Metro recently. (See also GMSV post on a kissing machine, and a more recent post about the rise of robots in the workplace.)

Levi Sumagaysay Levi Sumagaysay (3585 Posts)

Levi Sumagaysay is editor of the combined SiliconBeat and Good Morning Silicon Valley. She also blogs and is the online producer for SiliconValley.com, the Mercury News tech website. Email: lsumagaysay (at) bayareanewsgroup (dot-com).