Lonely and cold this holiday season? Need a hug? If you’re in Tokyo you could just drop by the Samsung Galaxy Café at Roppongi Hills to meet Galaxy XMAS HUGS, or Hug-chan(“chan” is a term of endearment often attached to the names of girls in Japan), who will greet you with a warm hug, albeit with her robot air-cushioned arms.
With a GALAXY Tab 10.1 LTE for a “face” and GALAXY SII LTE for its “heart”, Hug-chan exclusively uses the processing powers of these two devices to dance, sing, and of course, hug.
Hug-chan is featured at the Galaxy Café, an electronics café featuring lots of tables and space for a leisurely tour of the numerous Galaxy products on demonstration. Located on the 2nd floor of Hillside zone of Roppongi Hills, it’s the perfect spot for holiday shoppers to easily meet Hug-chan.
Created with RT Corporations, a Japanese robotics company founded by Yuki Nakagawa, she found that the CPUs of those two devices offered more than enough processing power to do everything that Hug-Chan needed to do. The GALAXY SII LTE handles user interaction and commands while the GALAXY Tab 10.1 LTE is mostly in charge of motion controls like hugging, singing, and dancing.
Her husband Mr. Nakagawa is the designer of the original RIC humanoid robot platform, who enjoys tinkering with the original design to create variations, including NekoTecho. He jumped at the opportunity to combine the Android-based Galaxy products with robotics in pursuit of this exciting new project.
The Hug-chan project also features innovative techniques involving several cameras to detect and interact with users, while streaming real-time video to the XMAS HUGS website (Note that the website is in Japanese, but no knowledge of Japanese is necessary to get to the video feed), where remote viewers can choose the camera they use to view Hug-chan. Below Yuki Nakagawa explains more about the development.
It’s incredible that Samsung Electronics Japan has found another innovative use for these two devices, as if they don’t do enough already.