RFID-enabled robot…mood…tail…thingy.


Furries: is there nothing they cannot do? Well okay, “shower” remains an elusive concept, but wearable technology seems to be in, as evidenced by this robotic mood tail. [Wei-Chieh Tseng]’s adorable Arduino-driven fashion accessory operates either via Wii Nunchuk or a set of RFID cards tagged with specific emotions to depict.

Details are scant. It appears to have been a project for a physical computing or design class. One thing’s for certain: Halloween is going to be awesome.

[via Engadget]


  1. strider_mt2k says:

    Sure, you’re PICTURING it on some cute girl, but you know it’s far more likely to be seen on some big, sweaty douche who thinks it’s funny to act like Barf from Spaceballs and put his tail in your drink.

    Aside from that it’s pretty clever!

  2. strider_mt2k says:

  3. Aphex13 says:


  4. Cheese says:

    I don’t know about the rest of you furries, but I shower regularly.

  5. Caleb Kraft says:

    I would think regular showers would be a necessity with those hot costumes.

  6. arward says:

    Now it needs a pair of cat or german shepherd ears.

    Add a couple of mics to make them turn and orient themselves towards any sources of sound.

    Also, make them display emotion by sensing the movement of the head with an accelerometer. When you keep your head down, the ears drop down for a sad effect. When you look up with a sudden jerk of the head, they stand upright to attention.

    (BTW you could also do the latter to move the wings of a Asterix helm)

  7. hackferret says:

    Sod you, Burgess. Nice hack post, bad commentary.

  8. strider_mt2k says:

    Thanks for doing your best to bring the level of discourse to a higher level, hackferret.

  9. Foxfurous says:

    I shower daily, thanks.

  10. Tryle says:

    Sorry, bubs, but showers are MANDITORY. Don’t know about most furs, but I’d rather smell better than a tire, thanks.

  11. Southpaw_hk says:

    Let’s hack, not hate.

  12. TJ says:

    That’s funny as. He’ll make a fortune selling them..

  13. Andrew says:

    I’ll add one more voice to the growing chorus of boos over the commentary. Yes, granted, I’ll agree that furryism is weird as hell (and I’m one), but for the most part we’re quite normal people (with some unfortunate exceptions). And there are a lot more of us than you think. So try not to alienate your audience, mmkay? For example- you’d be hard-pressed to find a furry that wouldn’t sooner use Vanity Fair for toilet paper than actually buy it.

  14. bothersaidpooh says:

    hmm… i see a project here. accelerometer hooked up to Borg eyepiece (the standard servo driven one would do)…

    Would be useful if it had infrared eye tracking too.

  15. jato says:

    I shower twice daily, some times three times. I guess I’ve encountered furs who smell like a perpetual LAN party. However, going to a tech school, I’ve smelled more non furs before seeing them than furs.

    If I wasn’t toying with the notion that the author of the article is a fur anyways I might be a little more offended.

    Looks like an awesome project though, I might break down and build myself a fully decked out suit one day.

  16. FlipperAnubi says:

    Furries…. Didn’t I see something about them on the Tyra Banks show?

  17. Phil Burgess says:

    Hi folks. Indeed, the commentary was off base, and I apologize for being snarky. Lesson learned.

  18. PocketBrain says:

    How about having biometrics determine the tail’s behavior? Couple of electrodes under the mask, etc. Or maybe it would be too honest.

  19. Andrew says:

    Apology accepted. At least you didn’t call us ‘fetishists’, like Gizmodo.
    On with the hacking! :D

  20. Great thanks!

  21. incognito53 says:

    Apparently I’m out of the loop as I had to research “furries” and “furryism”

    With that being said… wow.. Some horses of a different color

  22. Lol'd says:

    The thing that made me lol about this is the comment saying there are more furries out there than you think.

    I don’t mind furries, but to be honest, doesn’t that freak you the fuck out?

  23. strider_mt2k says:

    I just don’t want a tail in my beverage.
    Aside from that more power to yas. :)

  24. bob dole says:

    All the “furries” I’ve met have were as described. Oh, and the drama. My god, the drama.

  25. Coyotecom says:

    This guy is going to make a fortune.

  26. Malone says:

    Most furries need to learn that not every playful little quip is a personal attack. I know lots of furs who would have made the same joke.

    As for there being more furs out there than you think. In the town where I live the visible density is about 1/2000, province wide it’s closer to 1/10000. Keep in mind there are numbers made using total population including those too young/old/without internet/don’t know what furry is and comparing against self identifying furs on regional forums/mailing list.

    The real numbers are likely quite a bit higher. but that does give you some idea of how many are potentially out.

  27. Maj says:

    If you’re sorry for alienating us why didn’t you update the article to remove the stereotypical insults?

  28. lolololol says:

    | in after typical furry drama

  29. Monkeyman8 says:

    oh stop being whiny little bitches, it was a joke get the fuck over it. you don’t see me getting up in arms over ever nerd joke. that being said this brings me one step closer to gene splicing myself a tail. maybe I’m a jerk but I think it’d be hilarious to be able to whack someone in the face with one of those.

  30. Phil Burgess says:

    @Maj: for the same reason we generally don’t delete negative comments except for extreme cases. Off-color remarks by themselves usually say more about the author than any rebuttal could. Rather than backpedal or try to cover up my mistakes, I’ve offered an honest mea culpa.

    We might toss around words like “geek” or “nerd” here, but there’s always a playful and implied sense of inclusiveness. Pointing to one corner of the room and saying “you guys are weirder than the rest of us” was indeed the wrong way to go about it. Tried to make a “hip” joke, fell on my ass instead. And there it is, preserved for posterior. Er, posterity.

    So I hope that settles the matter and we can get back to discussing the hack itself, which really is pretty nifty.

  31. stunmonkey says:

    @ Phil, the mistake was only in assuming that furs are like the rest of the nerds and geeks.
    Fun, playful, good-natured, and self-aware are traits shared by nerd and geeks, not usually by furs and other hate groups based on insecurity and being adversarial.

  32. Malone says:

    Hey Phil. I’m consider myself a furry, I read your commentary, I laughed. Do not feel you did anything wrong, you didn’t.

    Furries are all at once some of the greatest and worst people I have ever met. Some of them are amazing individuals anyone should be happy to calls a friend. The other face of the coin are these socially inept drama queens that get worked up at the drop of a hat.

    If you apologize for something trivial as that the terrorists win.

  33. Kiyoshi says:

    I’m a furry, and I do shower/bathe regularly -.-

  34. strider_mt2k says:

    “I am a meat Popsicle.”

    -korben dallas

  35. Jack says:

    Just like any group of people, there will the the portion that are loud/disgusting/obnoxious etc. Unfortunately, these are often the ones that get the most attention, and are the ones the public usually gets to see.

    Those who consider themselves furries come from a wide range of professions and backgrounds, including doctors, teachers, military personnel, factory workers, dramatic emo schoolkids, couch potatoes that never wash and don’t ever get up except to go to a convention, and everything in between.

    No need to get so emotional and upset over a joke. A bit stereotypical, yes, but still funny nonetheless. Instead of getting mad, just let it roll off your fur :)

  36. Jack says:

    And I forgot to mention: I want one of those tails!

  37. F7 says:

    Furries as a culture don’t seem any more deviant than any other culture with similar sexual stipulations. If anything, someone who self identifies as a lemur or gets a little turned on while working as a school mascot is pretty anodyne in comparison to other forms of deviancy.

    Yeah, there are more than a few people that are total casualties, but the same can be true of most groups with negative stereotypes.

    I’m not a furry, I wouldn’t be attracted or repelled anymore by an abhorrent person if I found out they were a fur, and I’d consider the quality a plus in a sexual partner since it’s just one more vector to keep things interesting.

    Off this rant, I think this is an awesome hack and I’ve emailed the guy from the last animatronic tail hack about it.


    It probably wouldn’t be a hard mod to add extra capability to the wolftronix tails.

  38. D says:

    He did a really nice job with the video, demonstrating the functionality of the system without words. Very wise for a global audience.

    I’m kind of surprised there’s no default state, though. Perhaps apathy is not a sufficiently common emotion in his circles for that.

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