Certified couch potatoes now have a buddy – a robotic arm that will feed them every time they smile! A lab at RMIT University in Australia has developed the arm which is attached to a vest that can be worn by the user. The developers of the arm at Exertion Games lab at RMIT have named this benevolent robotic arm 'Arm-A-Dine'. It can be worn in the middle of your chest and it picks up food and feeds it to anyone on the table that has their frown upside down. The arm is for use between two people only and the motion of the arm is guided by the expression on the faces of these two people. If the wearer of this 'third arm' has a frown on their face, the arm will direct the food toward the mouth of their dining partner, who also has to smile in order to accept the snack.
Video of this robotic feeding arm has been going viral on the internet and the 'toy' has got coverage in publications from around the world. The official handle of RMIT University tweeted about the robotic arm saying, "If you consider yourself a professional couch potato, you might be slightly in love with this tech from our @exertiongames lab – a robotic arm that feeds you the more you smile." The official website of Exertion Games lab calls the arm a "social eating system". Explaining the logic behind the unique work of technology, the lab says, "Arm-a-Dine is a novel interactive multiplayer experience where a third (robotic) arm attached to the stomach of the person supports his/her eating, in particular, we sense facial expressions of other co-eaters to guide the actions of the third arm, fuelling the interlink between eating and facial expressions."
If you consider yourself a professional couch potato, you might be slightly in love with this tech from our @exertiongames lab – a robotic arm that feeds you the more you smile. Featured here in @mashablehttps://t.co/HaP8Amdi09
— RMIT University (@RMIT) November 29, 2018
Chest-mounted robot that acts as a third arm feeds people when they're too full to move: The robotic arm was created by Exertion Games Lab at RMIT University in Australia and the Indian Institute of Information Technology Design. https://t.co/z0ru72CjhRpic.twitter.com/qjni5YGwtY
— RushReads (@RushReads) November 23, 2018
It further adds by saying, "With our work, we aim to explore the potential of embodied systems to support the social eating experience." But does it really enhance the dining experience? A paper published by the lab said that first tests with the arm have been successful and some testers have said that the arm made them nostalgic and reminded them of the time when their mothers used to feed them. Another user said that the arm made them concentrate on eating more, as they had to focus, in order to pick the food up (using Arm-A-Dine) properly.
Now if they just made a robot to prepare all our meals as well, we would be eternally grateful!