Japan is already known for integrating robots into everyday life, whether it's giant fembots in Tokyo's red-light district or shampooing robots that handle salon duties. Now, students from the University of Tsukuba have created a robotic girlfriend coat for lonely fellas.
The Riajyuu Coat features a belt around the midsection. Motors on the back tighten the belt, squeezing the wearer to replicate a girlfriend coming up from behind and giving him a hug. A set of headphone lets the guy listen to a high-pitched woman talking at him, apologizing for being late, and just generally coming off as cute, in an anime sort of way.
The students testing out the coat definitely seem to be enjoying the experience, according to a goofy video that shows off the device. "The concept of this device is everyone can get the feeling of having a girlfriend," says hardware engineer Hikaru Sugiura. You get all the sensations, but none of the dating anxiety, expense, or potential heartbreak.
This coat isn't likely to be sold in stores anytime soon. If you want something you can cuddle with right now, then you'll have to pick up a boyfriend pillow and use your imagination to tide you over. Or, you know, you could try dating a real person. Just a suggestion.