Some emotional robots
dip deep into the dark recesses of the uncanny valley
, where our threshold for human mimicry resides. Emoti-bots on the other hand, manage to skip the creepy human-like pitfalls of other emo-machines, instead employing household objects to ape the most pathetic of human emotions -- specifically dejection and insecurity. Sure it sounds sad, but the mechanized furniture designed by a pair of MFA students is actually quite clever. Using a hacked Roomba
and an Arduino, the duo created a chair that reacts to your touch, and wanders aimlessly once your rump has disembarked. They've also employed Nitinol wires, a DC motor, and a proximity sensor to make a lamp that seems to tire with use. We prefer our lamps to look on the sunny side of life, but for those of you who like your fixtures forlorn, the Emoti-bots are now on display at Parsons in New York and can be found moping about in the video after the break.