Movies and media over the past few decades have convinced us that robots are the future. In days to come, everyone will have automatons to take care of menial jobs such as cooking, cleaning etc; leaving humans to pursue other activities. To achieve this better tomorrow, the International Robot Exhibition convenes to display the latest breakthroughs in the field and the applications of robot technology.
The 19th iteration of the event took place in Tokyo, and considering the eccentricities of the Japanese, you could be quite certain the exhibition would throw at least one curveball. Enter the Jukusui-Kun. Developed at Waseda University, this robot is a pillow in the shape of a bear that tickles sleeping individuals to prevent them from snoring. A video of the robot in action can be found here.
The device works with the help of built-in microphones that can detect snoring volumes while a blood oxygen levels are monitored by a pulse oximeter worn around the wrist while sleeping. An arm tickles the face of the sleeper if the Jukusui-Kun ascertains you are snoring. The intent is to disrupt sleep without waking the person up so that he or she can change position for better breathing.
Jokes aside, sleep apnea is a serious condition and this device could help out chronic sufferers. However, we still do not see the reason why the robot has to be designed like a bear.