el Niño helps weather long-distance relationships

Atmel | Bits & Pieces


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?

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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.

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The paired robots are sychronized through Internet, while…

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