The problem with finding love is that it's easy to overthink it. So the True Love Tinder Robot helps your heart want what it wants by sensing your real feelings and pointing you to romance with its romantic robot hand.
A matchmaking mechanoid, the True Love Tinder Robot is a box with handprint-shaped sensors and an artificial hand all ready to swipe through possible love matches on dating app Tinder.
To put your love life in the hand of the amorous android, pop your phone into the robot's cradle and fire up Tinder, then place your hands on the sensors. As each potential suitor appears, the sensors read how your body reacts and swipes "yes" or "no" accordingly. "Judge this person," the True Love Tinder Robot encourages you. "Determine if this person has any value...nope."
Launched in 2012, Tinder is a dating app with a very simple premise: once you connect it to your Facebook account, some basic information and your picture are shown to eligible lovers. You see the same for possible dates, and you have the option to swipe left to ditch them or swipe right if they get your motor running. When you swipe right on someone who has also swiped right on your profile, it's a match, and you can chat via instant messaging in the app.
The handsy robot is the handiwork of Nicole He, who built it as a project for her course at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program. The idea came to He as she slept, and was conceived to confront people with a real, physical example of technology making intimate decisions for us, as a way of exploring the way we trust computer algorithms to find us potential soul mates on dating sites and apps.
To build the robot, He combined an Arduino microcontroller board, servos, a text-to-speech module, and a couple of sheets of metal to form a galvanic skin response sensor. That senses how sweaty your palms get as you react to the potential date on the screen. According to He, this is "definitely, absolutely, 100 percent no doubt" scientific.
While the robot could help daters find love, it won't help its creator: He says she doesn't use Tinder. But she does have a top tip for potential suitors: "My advice is to use the robot as an excuse for a pick-up line," she told CNET. "How can anyone say no?
"Hopefully soon more people will try it with their own Tinder accounts," she added. "I just ask that I be invited to the inevitable weddings."
Meanwhile, Tinder is taking the idea of giving away your heart literally -- not to mention your other organs -- as it joins forces with the UK organ donor scheme. Profiles for Olympic gold medal winner Jade Jones, Gemma Oaten from UK soap "Emmerdale" and Jamie Laing from trashy reality show "Made in Chelsea" will appear on the app with a message for users encouraging them to sign up to the organ donation registry. The celebrity pitch is designed to help the seriously ill find their own match with compatible donors for the organs they desperately need.
To find out more and join the organ register, go to organdonation.nhs.uk. If you want to help while your organs are still your property, make an appointment to donate blood or find out where you can donate at blood.co.uk. (Disclosure: My brother Ian Trenholm is the chief executive of NHS Blood and Transplant, the not-for-profit health authority behind the promotion.)
Tinder this year added new features including Instagram pictures, job and education details, and "Super Likes". But the service is not without controversy with a co-founder suspended last year over accusations of sexual harassment. More recently, a Vanity Fair article branded the app a harbinger of a "dating apocalypse", much to the company's public anger, while a baffling interview by CEO Sean Rad provoked widespread mockery.