Hugive arrives in Linz


Does the connection work?

Yeah, the connection is up and running!

The festivalteam is happy about their new collegues.

ATR Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratory

Our tele-operated androids Telenoid and Elfoid, which are designed with just the most basic human features and movements, implement new telecommunication media to convey the sense of a human presence. Our development and research showed us that physical interaction, such as holding or hugging the androids, conveys not only auditory information, but also touch information from the other person and it can become an effective way to strongly feel the partner’s presence.

Hugvie is a newly developed “hug pillow” type of communication media for talking while enjoying hugging. Its body is basically a cushion, similar in form to Telenoid and Elfoid, that effectively conveys the sense of a human presence. While holding Hugvie close to the body, users speak through their cellphones—inserted into a pocket in its head—to people far away.

Hugvie is equipped with a vibrator that simulates heartbeat vibrations and effectively evokes a human presence and human emotions. The heartbeat vibrations vary in accordance with the changes in the partner’s tone and reinforce the sense of presence originally conveyed by the voice. The comfortable feel of the cushion, the sensation of hugging one’s partner, the sound of the partner’s voice close to ear, and the heartbeat vibrations in harmony with that voice, all help to create and enhance the sensation of the partner’s actual presence and to intensify the affinity towards him/her. It is an innovative communication medium that embodies the minimum elements required to convey a humanlike presence.

Hugvie, which is a combination of the English word “hug” + the French word “vie”, means “embracing life”, which is very appropriate for a medium that makes you feel as if you are embracing your partner.