Researchers Developing Robot Chair

Photo by Brianne Bowen

Photo by Brianne Bowen, Yale Daily News.

…working on robot World of Warcraft legend to sit in it and pwn all your asses. Actually, what the robot lab at Yale is working on at Yale is really more like a robot Sister Mary Katherine SitUpStraight, complete with vibrating ruler.

But seriously, folks: the student newspaper at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut informs me that the robotics department at Yale is working on a robotic chair that zaps you when your posture goes South:

The department has taken a simple office chair and placed sensing resistors at four different spots where pressure is highest when sitting in proper posture. When the sitter’s posture shifts out of the ideal position, the chair vibrates as a reminder to sit up straight. Depending on the sensors, different parts of the chair will vibrate.

Yale engineering and applied science professor John Morrell and [industrial design] graduate student Ying Zheng…decided to take a regular office chair with a mesh back and tweaked it, applying various sensors to it to create the posture alert chair that is in works at the Yale Human Machine Interface Laboratory.

The Yale Daily News reported this back in April when said Nun Chair was presented at the 2010 Haptics Symposium, but it’s that probably got most excited about this development, since Morrell et al started their project with a Herman Miller Aeron Chair — yes, the same damn ones you hear about constantly if you listen to San Francisco’s KQED, where they tell you to pop over to and order that puppy in the new color, “True Black,” whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean.

Then if you want to play ball like the Yale kids, you break out about a dozen Hitachi Magic Wands and rig their switches to your back, neck, elbows, knees and tookus with some crochet yarn and duct tape, and…

Look, I’d continue — but when you’ve got a pedigree like mine, you just don’t crack wise about things that vibrate.

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