Sure, you could try chin straps, nasal strips, or surgery. But I think we can all agree those snoring solutions are far less adorable than a robot bear that tickles your face when your breathing approaches wake-the-bedmate territory.
Meet Jukusui-kun, a fluffy white pillowbot that gauges snoring levels and touches offenders (supposedly gently) to get them to roll their head from side to side. This shift in movement, hopefully, helps open the airways so sleepers can stop snoring and enjoy a sounder slumber.
The polar bear-shaped robot out of (you guessed it) Japan, monitors snoring with built-in mics, while a similarly cuddly device worn around the wrist measures blood oxygen levels, which drop when snoring starts. When these benchmarks converge to indicate rising decibels, Jukusui-kun reaches out its paw with a loving little smack.
The robot, whose name translates to "Deep Sleep," debuted recently at the International Robot Exhibition in Tokyo, where nearly 300 companies showed off their robotic innovations.
While the system could be a welcome (if bed-hogging) development for the frustrated mates of occasional snorers, Akiyoshi Kabe of Wasaeda University says he developed the bot to aid those who grapple with chronic sleep apnea. The common sleep disorder is characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing that can interrupt sleep and lead to excessive tiredness.
Deep Sleep joins other members of the robot-bear pack, including Riba, a teddy bear robot nurse designed to help caregivers move elderly patients who can't get around unaided, and Cylon the terrifying ursine toy. It's likely also a distant cousin of Paro the robot seal and Babyloid, the baby beluga whale robot.
We don't know yet if or when Jukusui-kun might show up under a duvet near you. We just hope that when it does, it's already hibernated and in a very good mood.
(Via Japan Trends)