New York Times article (free registration required) NSF-funded research at Carnegie Mellon University has produced a robotic pillow that gives senior citizens "warmth and tactile sensations approximating the embrace of family members". The pillow is shaped like a human torso, complete with arms, and is covered with velour. It is activated remotely and is designed to let a grandchild send hugs to a grandparent over a phone line. It's not yet a product, just a research version. Is this a helpful invention? The idea behind it is nice, but it seems a little creepy to me.