Now, long-distance lovers can feel the presence and the emotional state of each other without making phone call.
A long-distance relationship (LDR) is typically an arrangement characterized by a considerable geographic distance and lack of face-to-face contact. According to Wikipedia, LDRs are particularly prevalent among college students — constituting 25% to 50% of all LDRs. As expected, quite a number of individuals maintain contact with their partners over the Internet in real-time via voice or video chats. But what if couples prefer to communicate using a slightly different medium, specifically with a geeky twist?
Enter el Niño, an Arduino Uno-based (ATmega328 MCU) robotic platform designed to transmit emotions over long distances. Two stationary anthropomorphic robots are used as tangible user interfaces that can mimic human emotions by displaying symbolic facial expressions on low-resolution screens, in order to reflect the emotional state of the user.
The paired robots are sychronized through Internet, while users can change the state of the robot to refect his/her own emotion and the other robot updates automatically. Now, long-distance lovers can feel the presence and the emotional state of each other without making phone calls — something that’ll surely come in handy on Valentine’s Day.
The system itself was built and designed using a combination of open-source hardware and a 3D-printed enclosure. Interested in learning more about el Niño and sharing your love to someone thousands of miles away? Check out the project’s official page here.