Japanese robots make a stink about bad breath, body odor


June 17, 2013

Kaori-chan, a female robot, can smell your breath and responds based on a four point scale (Photo: Asashi Shimbun)

Kaori-chan, a female robot, can smell your breath and responds based on a four point scale (Photo: Asashi Shimbun)

Have you got a case of dog breath? How about smelly feet? Friends and family may not tell you, but a couple of new robots will. Built by the Kitakyushu National College of Technology and a group of inventive pranksters calling itself CrazyLabo, the pair of odor-detecting robots are giving people a lesson in hygiene and a few chuckles.

Kaori-chan, a decapitated mannequin head that sits atop a pink box, is the one that smells your breath. Simply blow into her face and don't expect her to spare your feelings if you could use a mint or two. Responses range from the blunt, “Yuck, you have bad breath!” to an embarrassing, “Emergency! There's an emergency taking place! That’s beyond the limit of patience!”

The foot-sniffing dog, Shuntaro-kun, is a bit less eloquent but just as clear with his responses. He'll cuddle up to you if you smell ok, but if you stink he'll bark, fall down and growl, or play dead. Both robots get their sense of smell from a commercially available odor sensor and grade your aroma on a four point scale.

The idea came when CrazyLabo president Kennosuke Tsutsumi visited the Tohoku region, which was hit by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11th, 2011. Wanting to create something that could cheer people up, he collaborated with a team at the Kitakyushu National College of Technology to collect odor samples and program the robots. Ten students wore the same pair of socks for two days, and ate foods with stinky ingredients like garlic, to iron out the robots' four point scale.

Now the group is planning on touring the quake-affected areas with the robots, and may lease or exhibit them to the public. “I want to continue to produce things that make people laugh and create a good atmosphere,” Tsutsumi said. You can see a video of the robots doing their thing via the Asahi Shimbun source link below.

Source: CrazyLabo (Japanese) via Asahi Shimbun (Japanese)

About the Author
Jason Falconer Jason is a freelance writer based in central Canada with a background in computer graphics. He has written about hundreds of humanoid robots on his website Plastic Pals and is an avid gamer with an unsightly collection of retro consoles, cartridges, and controllers. All articles by Jason Falconer

Try regularly flushing your sinuses with salt water. Also try gargling with hydrogen peroxide 3%. Don't eat any dairy foods or drink tea or coffee or anything with sugar or alcohol in it. I can tell you Oraltech Labs advice worked for my bad breath and I think I tried most other products on the market. Its not easy as the program has you treating all causes of bad breath just in case your suffering from any one cause and don't know it. I was happy to follow the Oraltech Labs program just to get my life back.

Lisa Evens

The Japanese can be truly weird.


Bad breath, medically called halitosis, can result from poor dental health habits and may be a sign of other health problems. Bad breath can also be made worse by the types of foods you eat and other unhealthy lifestyle habits. Many other diseases and illnesses may cause bad breath. Here are some to be aware of: respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis, chronic sinus infections, postnasal drip, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, and liver or kidney problems. So be careful. Thanks.

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Jesika Mery
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