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July 11, 2018

Need validation in your life? This gleeful clapping robot will provide it

by John_A

Have you ever looked at those terrifying cymbal-clashing monkey toys and thought, boy, I wish someone would take that same sense of unnerving automaton enthusiasm and update it for the robot-loving 21st century? No? Well, someone’s done it anyway, and the resulting machine will set you back $4,500.

Called Big Clapper, the robot looks faintly like slightly objectionable Pokémon Jynx — only colored bright red, and with plastic hands raised perennially overhead like an overexcited preacher.

If you’re asking what exactly a Big Clapper robot does… well, frankly you’ve come to the right place. According to its Kickstarter blurb, this Japanese robot is designed to “Cheer up and spread happiness to anyone, anytime, anywhere.” It does this by providing a round of applause to accompany your every move, as though you were the funniest character in a sitcom of your life. You can choose between a manual clap mode, a series of pre-set clap patterns, clapping along to your favorite tune, or even turning a recording of your own voice into a series of claps like some kind of nightmarish alien language.

“I focused on clapping,” Masato Takahashi, developer of Big Clapper, told Digital Trends. “Clapping is one of the universal communication [tools]. This is the idea for this robot: Cheer up the world with applause.” Just in case clapping turns out not to be a universal enough communication tool, Big Clapper can also blurt out a range of phrases to suit any occasion, as well as charming onlookers with its “delightfully dapper expression.”

With this combined skillset, the robot’s creators claim that it will soon find a welcome home at a variety of events — including storefronts, birthday parties, social gatherings, offices, and the somewhat broader “anywhere” (although we can’t see it going over too well at the majority of funerals.)

As ever, we offer our usual warnings about the potential risks inherent in crowdfunding campaigns. However, if you simply can’t imagine living the remainder of your life without an effusive robot at your side, head over to the project’s Kickstarter page to pledge your hard-earned cash. As noted, prices start at $4,500, provided that Big Clapper is able to reach its fundraising goal of approximately $100,000. (At the time of publication, only seven people had plonked down their money.)

Shipping is set to take place in March 2019. Clapping will commence immediately after. And never, ever stop again.

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