Two robotics items: one seriously weird, but it may get the robotics-for-care brain cells ticking over, and the other from the ‘university of the bleedin’ obvious’. The first is Sense-Roid, a Japanese prototype jacket that ‘hugs’ you when you hug a similarly equipped mannequin and the second is research from New Zealand which reveals that people are likely to prefer a care robot with a similar accent to one’s own. The Effects of Synthesized Voice Accents on User Perceptions of Robots. You’d think it a fair bet that Americans would prefer a robot with an American accent despite the protestations of some that an English accent is ‘cute’ – especially since villains in the movies are now obliged to have English accents rather than German or Russian ones. Heads-up thanks to Toni Bunting.