Adawarp, a two-man Japanese tech startup, is in the long-distance bear-hug business. The company's Telepresence virtual reality technology transports one person, wearing an Oculus Rift, into the body of a robotic teddy bear, with real-time movements, sight, voice and all, no matter how far apart the bear and user are. Turn your head and the teddy bear turns his, and use an Xbox controller to articulate the bear's arms, as MIT Technology Review reports. Users can talk through the bear's speaker system, hear responses through a microphone and see out of its eyes (each one encircled by a fine layer of fuzz, of course).
Adawarp plans to launch a stripped-down version of its Telepresence robot just for developers in 2016. The included robot won't have a furry teddy-bear covering, allowing developers to design their own bodies. Eventually, the startup plans to create a version that uses smartphone motion-sensing tech rather than virtual reality to control the robot's head. Adawarp founder Tatsuki Adaniya says that when he launches a consumer model, he expects cats, dogs and bears to be popular, according to Technology Review. Maybe just don't play Five Nights at Freddy's for a while before booting up the Telepresence bear.