Parsons student Justin Blinder created the Arduino-based Snoozy the Sloth stuffed animal as "an intimate, yet passive, toy interaction that relaxes and comforts a user." Cuddly, or creepy?
The sloth doll uses an Arduino microcontroller, two diaphragm pumps, and a latex glove to act as the "lung;" Blinder makes it clear that he wanted not the illusion of breathing (by having, for example, a mechanically contracting and expanding chest) but the actual intake and expulsion of air. In other words, this thing can gently breathe on your neck, which sounds about the same mixture of creepy and cute as The Police's "I'll Be Watching You." On the other hand, we could totally see kids loving this: They go crazy for dolls with semi-animate features, like giggling Elmo or those dolls that pee (weird!). And kids have less experience than we with machines behaving badly, anyway, so their innocent little minds can enjoy the doll without fear of, you know, horrible robot murder. [Official Site, Thanks Justin!]