I, for one, welcome our new WAO-1 face-pulverizing robotic overlords.

WAO-1: Face massage robot

Equipped with two 20-inch arms that protrude from a chair-sized aluminum box, WAO-1 performs massages by pressing the patient's face from both sides. Each arm's position and angle can be precisely controlled, as can the direction of the pressure applied to the face. WAO-1 also relies on a complex system of software and fuses to ensure the pressure does not exceed a certain level, and it is equipped with a "torque limiter function" that allows the arms to bend back should the robot begin to exert too much force. [Uh huh.]

While the parts for the prototype cost about $70,000, Takanishi says the robot is cost-effective because it can be used to massage other body parts [Uh huh.] and perform other tasks like hold a patient's mouth open during treatment. [Uh huh.]

Facial massage, which is known to combat dry mouth because it stimulates salivation, is used in the treatment of various mouth and jaw disorders. An estimated 10 million people in Japan are believed to suffer from oral conditions such as dry mouth [...]

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11 Responses:

  1. elusis says:

    That thing is going to pop her head like a grape.

  2. lnghnds says:


  3. benediktus says:

    results may vary...
    (roger ballen - dresie and casie)

  4. gryazi says:

    "Torque limiter function" is either a fancy name for 'mounted on springs,' which would be sensible, or a fancy Japanese workaround to emulate springs with sensors and motors, in which case the failure modes will be hilarious.

  5. n_by_nw says:

    You can divide the world quite cleanly into those who find the phrase "[...]relies on a complex system of software and fuses to ensure..." reassuring, and those who find it terrifying (or hilarious). I think most of the latter are here.

  6. line_noise says:

    Awesome! I'm throwing away my bottle of water and buying a $70,000 robot to keep my mouth wet!

  7. cattycritic says:

    Go to a Brookstone store & try out their new foot massage machine thing. It's pretty scary. I braved the thing but a) it didn't feel good and b) I kept imagining it crapping out & trapping me there, or crushing my feet.

  8. deusdiabolus says:

    Just in time to be considered for SAW 5.