It’s hard not to love Japan, for all the profoundly weird stuff that comes out of it. From the bizarre dekotora art trucks to the Lolita girls who dress up like Victorian dolls, Japan has never wanted for strangeness. Which is why the new robot butt created at the University of Electro-Communications should come as no surprise.
As the designers put it, the realistic-looking butt is designed to respond to slaps, caresses and finger pokes. “Shiri,” which is Japanese for “ass” (of course), is essentially silicon skin on a “rigid urethane skeleton” that is controlled by motors and airbags.
Check out the video, which is mostly safe for work but really, really weird. I got a little creeped out watching it:
One quick gander at the video and it seems pretty obvious where and how Shiri is likely to first be used. Keep in mind that Japan is the country that popularized brothels where you can pay to have sex with dolls. Fully functional sex robots likely just took another step toward realization.
On the other hand, the robot butt is something of an important invention. If the goal of certain roboticists is to eventually build a perfect simulacrum of the human body, they were eventually going to have to turn their attention to the posterior. After all, you can’t start such a project if it’s not going to have an end. (Thank you, thank you, I’m here all week, be sure to tip your waitress.)