This mechanical armpit just wants you to smell its robo-odor

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Here's concept art of a robotic armpit built by London designer Kevin Grennan, who's also constructed a prototype that's a smidge too gross for the front page. We're at the exciting frontier of stinky robots, dear readers.

It may look like your standard bootleg Fleshlight, but Grennan has big plans for the robotic armpit. In an interview with We Make Money Not Art, Grennan explained that he designed the armpit to bridge the olfactory gap between man and machine:

It was important to me that the odours and chemicals came from within the robots and that they were an integrated means for them to communicate with the humans who would surround them. Each robot that I have augmented with a 'sweat gland' emits a particular chemical that has a specific effect on humans and the chemical has been chosen to further enable the robot's primary function.

In the case of the bomb disposal robot the 'sweat gland' releases the smell of human fear. It has been proven that humans can identify this specific smell and it tends to enhance cognitive performance in. I propose that this robot would enable surrounding humans to work more effectively and to differentiate dangerous situations from false alarms.


In the case of the picker robot. It releases a chemical called androstadienone, which is found in male sweat. This has be shown in research to effect mood in females under certain circumstances. I have speculated that this robot when used on a production line could enhance the performance of female employees in it's vicinity.

The third robot is a surgery robot. It releases a mist of oxytocin, a chemical found in the human brain. This chemical when inhaled nasally has been shown to cause people to become more trusting. I speculated that a patient could meet this robot before surgery and the chemical mist would cause the patient to trust in its abilities to a greater degree.


You hear that, employed women of the world? That middle robot will galvanize your work ethic with fragrant T-1000 B.O. And to all the fellows who are reading this — as a casual experiment — don't wear deodorant to your jobs this week. Remember, you're doing it for the team.

So, what do you say folks? Do you want your robots to have robust Cylon musk?

[Kevin Grennan via IEEE Spectrum]