The University of Manitoba presents Snugglebot, a companion robot that needs love and attention. His tusk lights up and he moves to get attention or to show appreciation when hugged.
The first prototype of the robot is the brainchild of Danica Passler Bates, a computer science student at the University of Manitoba.
Danica is confident that her robot will make people feel better, especially those who are isolated during the pandemic. Her research has shown that caring for something (such as a pet) often improves a person’s well-being and motivation.
“SnuggleBot is a nice new companion robot. Existing companion robots are used in a clinical setting and are not available due to their high cost, so we aimed to create the simplest robot to really help people, ”explains Danica.
Danica says she chose the narwhal for the shape of the robot because of its large size and horn.
I needed an easy way to communicate with the robot. The robot’s horn lights up in different colors depending on its current needs and in response to care.
Daniki Passler Bates, prototype for the SnuggleBot
Danica will continue her research to find out how humans interact with a robot, and whether it will actually make a person feel better.