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Stuffed Toys Alive! replaces mechanical limbs with strings for a much softer feel (hands-on)

Zach Honig

It worked just fine for Pinocchio, so why not animatronic stuffed bears? A group of researchers from the Tokyo University of Technology are on hand at SIGGRAPH's Emerging Technologies section this week to demonstrate "Stuffed Toys Alive!," a new type of interactive toy that replaces the rigid plastic infrastructure used today with a seemingly simple string pulley-based solution. Several strings are installed at different points within each of the cuddly gadget's limbs, then attached to a motor that pulls the strings to move the fuzzy guy's arms while also registering feedback, letting it respond to touch as well. There's not much more to it than that -- the project is ingenious but also quite simple, and it's certain to be a hit amongst youngsters. The obligatory creepy hands-on video is waiting just past the break.

Gallery: Stuffed Toys Alive! hands-on | 7 Photos

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