These are the Arm-A-Dine chest-mounted robotic arms (which look suspiciously like chestbursters) created by researchers at the Exertion Games Lab at RMIT University in Australia and the Indian Institute of Information Technology Design that are capable of picking up food items from a table and either feeding them to you or your dining partner based on your perceived facial expression after it picks something up. No -- feed him the romaine! He wants it! Some more info while I catapult a few steaming hot Chef Boyardee raviolis over my cubicle wall with a fork:
In a world where researchers warn about a "loneliness epidemic" and many meals are taken with smartphone in hand, Arm-A-Dine is supposed to remind us that eating is a social event.
So, Arm-A-Dine not only grabs food from the table, but also makes a judgement on who to feed it to. A facial recognition app running on an attached smartphone scans your dining partner's expression. If they're smiling, your arm offers them the food; if they're frowning, you get it. (And if the expression is neutral, the arm hovers ambiguously in the middle [before making a random decision and feeding to one or the other])
And here I thought they were designing these robotic arms to help people with limited mobility be able to feed themselves and live more independent lives. *trying to crush empty ravioli can on forehead* Stupid stupid stupid! "No, that was actually a very noble thought you had, GW." You mean it?! *kneeling* "What are you doing?" Aren't you going to knight me? "It takes a lot more than a single noble thought to be knighted." Oh piss off, King Arthur, that table's an oval and you know it.
Keep going for a video demonstration.
Thanks again to Thaylor H, who agrees these researchers seriously dropped the ball not including a food fight mode.