Cute Tech

Hugbot, A Soft Robot Who Gives Small Hugs


Have you had a rough week? Need a hug? Now you can build a 3D printed robot for that – and it’s not very complicated.

The aim of the Hugbot is just that; to give you small hugs.

The design was created by the user Kaytdek on Instructables and was born thanks to an interest in making something “soft and squishy which could move based on its outside environment.”

The Hugbot is relatively simple to make and relies on a custom made 3D printed vertebrae. Fishing wire is threaded through the vertebrae to stepper motors which are controlled by an Arduino inside its body.

How Does Hugbot Work?

Bildschirmfoto 2015-10-28 um 12.56.20

As with most hugs; the most important part is Hugbot’s arms. The 3D printed joints have two strings running through them, by pulling one string you cause the arm to bend.

These arms are each hooked up to a pulley on a stepper motor which is controlled by an Arduino Uno. A flex sensor in the head of the robot provides input for when the arms should open or close.

Hugbot was created to be a particular size to fit all the electronics in a project box from a hardware store meaning the parts are easy to source. However, Kaytdek suggests improvements in the form of using stronger steppers powered separately to the Arduino in order to create stronger arms (meaning stronger hugs)

Kaytdek encourages anyone interested in a good hug to make one too, writing: “Despite not being very strong, this Hugbot was a great size, low power, and still quite cute.”

In order to personalise your Hugbot, you could try adding different coloured fleece fabric, googly eyes for an interesting facial expression or even more stuffing for an extra squishy hug.

Having a robot to come home to might be the best way to make  sure you have a good day, or perhaps you could sneak it into work for the occasional, well needed hug. Try making your own and let us know how your creation goes!