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Technology

Online Shoppers Can Play Dress-Up With a Robotic Torso

DiscoblogBy Joseph CalamiaJuly 22, 2010 7:43 PM

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Add one more job to the list--along with vacuuming floors and assisting in surgeries, now robots can try on clothes for you. The company Fits.me is developing a robotic torso for online shoppers that can morph to match shoppers' body dimensions, creating virtual fitting rooms on clothing websites. Men can try a demo version of the product on the company's site. After entering measurements such as neck and waste size, and selecting from three torso types, the site displays what you might look like in a particular shirt. The torso doesn't morph in real time; instead, the site pulls from a database of pictures--2,000 body size combinations, the company reports, systematically showing users if pinstripes in small, medium, or large will make them look fat. Shirt sellers Hawes and Curtis is already testing a version of the system on their site. As reported by the BBC, the company next hopes to develop a version of the torso for women. Maarja Kruusma a professor of biorobotics at the University of Tallinn who helped the company develop the system, told the BBC that it's a difficult task. Women's clothing comes in more intricate styles, and their torsos are more complicated to model, she says:

"You can't just take a male mannequin and put breasts on it. That doesn't work."

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