About robots, robot development
and those who make it happen


  • Released:
  • 2006
  • The Boston-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed this robotic bear meant to be a therapeutic companion. Based on Gund’s “Butterscotch” bear, Huggable contains full-body sensate skin with three types of sensors that cover its entire body. This technology is embedded underneath a soft silicone skin and fur fabric covering similar to Butterscotch's.

    According to several health studies, pet animals are capable of lowering stress levels, reducing heart and respiratory rates, normalizing hormonal levels, elevating mood, and increasing social facilitation. Because of these health benefits, several health institutions and hospitals have used animal-assisted therapies to help kids and older patients.

    Hhowever, animals are not ideal in hospitals. Some may cause allergic reactions, pose threats of injury, and even spread disease. Thus, Huggable is designed to be a viscerally and emotionally pleasing substitute that can interact with patients.

    Researchers at MIT are still looking for ways to optimize this technology, which could eventually help and serve patients. At this point, Huggable is in its prototype stage.


    • Voice coil actuator
    • Inertial measurement unit
    • Embedded with cameras in its eyes
    • Microphones at its ears
    • Installed with computer which relays information wirelessly
    • 3 different somatic sensors
    • Silicone skin and fur fabric covering




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