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Oh, the places you'll go... with this shoulder-mounted telepresence robot (video)


In what's likely to be good news for mothers that just can't seem to cut the cord, a team of Japanese engineers from Yamagata University have crafted a tiny telepresence robot that mounts to your shoulder. Part of this year's IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, the unsettling cyborg companion, dubbed MH-2 for miniature humanoid, is designed to act like a virtual chaperon or comrade, all depending on the person remotely piloting it. Using a combination of flexible joints, the wee avatar can somewhat mimic its users movements, even going so far as to simulate breathing. At the moment, the tech's not really ready for primetime, seeing as how the backpack required to power this creation contains about 22 servos -- not exactly the most portable of inventions. Still, as with all things cybernetic, this project will only evolve in time, growing more efficient, lightweight and effective at transporting your family and friends wherever you may roam, whether you like it or not. Skip past the break for some en vivo video action.

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