Elfoid: anthropomorphic horrorphone

Paul Raven @ 04-03-2011

Oooh lordy, this Elfoid cellphone prototype is just horrifying, like some sort of David-Lynch-filming-Dan-Simmons prop to represent the religious fetishes of the Uncanny Valley… [image originally by Ars Electronica; ganked from linked Pink Tentacle post]

Elfoid humanoid phone prototype

The Elfoid phone is a miniature version of the Telenoid R1 robot developed last year by a research team led by Osaka University professor Hiroshi Ishiguro. The current prototype measures 20 centimeters (8 in) long, is covered in a soft fleshy urethane skin, and has the same genderless and ageless appearance as the Telenoid. The control buttons are embedded in the chest, which glows green when the Elfoid is in use.

Like the full-sized Telenoid robot, the Elfoid handset is designed to add an element of realism to long-distance communication by recreating the physical presence of a remote user.

That’s it; from now on, I don’t do phonecalls. Email only.

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7 Responses to “Elfoid: anthropomorphic horrorphone”

  1. Sarah Ennals says:

    Well, I guess it *might* add an element of realism to phone calls, if I had a far-away friend who was a tiny limbless hairless person that I was in the habit of cuddling to my ear….

  2. ConfidentlyDubious says:

    …and whose chest glows green during conversations.

  3. khannea says:

    I will do my own, very offensive designs. I can do worse than this. Where can I deposit suggestions? …and when it rings can it has a silent mode?

  4. Sarah Ennals says:

    …My little eldritch homunculus buddy, how I’ve missed you.

    Maybe the real market here is those who have to spend a lot of time on the phone with people they *dislike.*

  5. Phildickian says:

    Can say one good thing: the persocom (Chobits) comes a step closer!

  6. Rick York says:


  7. Sarah Ennals says:

    Perhaps if they were more along the lines of the Jayne Mansfield hot water bottle, user response might be better? ; )