Just in case a dystopian future does arrive, humans will at least
have giant white, blob-like robot pillows to spoon with. In all fairness
to German designer Stefan Ulrich, he probably wasn't aiming to create
something that—when it was first unveiled last year—was quickly derided
as a somewhat sad device heralding a "man-on-blob"
age. The Funktionide, as Urlich named it, was intended to help stave
off loneliness by being "alive." That is, as Time's Techland blogger Erin Skarda
understands, it uses artificial muscle technology to help produce human-like movements.
sensors in the pillow react to any sort of human touch or pressure,
even breathing or cuddling. And, since humans already spend days
cocooned in in various electronics, it shouldn't be that much of a
stretch for a mattress to be semi-sentient. Is it?
"People already bury
themselves in possessions and shield themselves from real life with
technology. So if robots and objects can fulfill all their emotional
needs as well, why do they need other humans?" remarked Ulrich who also
apparently told UK's The Sun
that his pillows may be a replacement for significant others.
here's the bleak, comically surreal intro video to the blobby
robot. If anything, it could leave you that much more thankful this
Funktionide Part II from
eltopo on Vimeo.
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