Have you ever sat through a videoconference and thought that the interaction would have felt more genuine if only you had shaken hands with the participants? Then we have good news for you. Below, see a demonstration of a handshake robot meant to be used in conjunction with videoconference software. “By attaching this robot hand, you can shake hands with people at a distance,” Kazuaki Tanaka, an assistant professor at Osaka University, says. This allows for “a great sense of other people’s presence.”
The robot hand is warm—warmer than the average human hand, in fact. Because people are primed to believe a robotic hand will be cold, the inventors turned up the temperature a bit. Next up, says Tanaka, is bringing the warm hand to telepresence robots.