Teddy bear robot to hug visitors at VDNKh

Teddy bear robot to hug visitors at VDNKh
A 2-metre teddy bear robot will measure hugging strength.

Standing two metres tall, and looking like a teddy bear, a new robot has arrived at the National Exhibition of Economic Achievements (VDNKh) to give free hugs at Pavilion 2’s new ‘RoboStation.’

The robot has sensors that can measure hugging metrics, or the strength, smoothness, vigor and duration of the hug. It will give the results right away and will ask for a tighter hug if it is not strong enough.

“The RoboStation at VDNKh’s Pavilion No. 2 will have a surprise for all those in love. A new robot called Obnimishka (Hugbear) will greet them on Valentine’s Day. Lovers can use the machine to measure their compatibility by seeing how different their hugs measure,” the VDNKh press service said.

The press agents added that the bear may get additional functions if all goes well. For instance, it may start suggesting new couples by bringing together strangers with similar hugging habits.

Experiencing the robot itself is free but visitors will have to pay to enter the RoboStation. The machine is available from 11 am to 8 pm. Several contests, for example, for the tightest, the most tender and the most mobile hugs will run for a month, until 14 March, while the robot remains at the station.

Similar robots are a hit in Japan, helping people cope with anxiety and loneliness.

The RoboZAGS, or a marriage clerk-like robot, has been at work at Pavilion No. 2 for several years now. The machine scans how deep a couple’s emotions are with the help of special ‘love’ sensors and records a virtual marriage. It goes as far as making a special entry in its registry, printing a certificate and issuing wedding rings.