The pitch for Big Clapper, a $4,500 robot that’s currently raising funds on Kickstarter, is simple. Do you feel underappreciated in life? Would you like a little more support? How about some applause for all that amazing work you do? Fantastic. You should definitely buy this tomato-faced robot to clap and cheer you on for the rest of your life.
Okay, so that’s not the only use for Big Clapper, but it is one option. This robot seems primarily designed for retail stores and businesses as a way to attract attention and generally freak out and / or delight passersby. Think of it as a cousin of those wacky waving inflatable tube arm things, but smaller, louder, and much, much weirder.
Big Clapper (which we spotted via IEEE Spectrum) started its life as an art project by Japanese designer Masato Takahashi, who first built a single pair of clapping hands, then two, and then a whole wall. Earlier prototypes used more lifelike hands, which were, in Takahashi’s own words, “completely disgusting.” After showing off some prototype Big Clappers at CES this year (to rapturous applause no doubt), Takahashi has turned to Kickstarter to raise funds for a larger production run.
Each Big Clapper has a motion sensor to detect nearby gawkers and a number of different operation modes. You can get it to clap basic rhythms, clap on demand, clap along with music, or program it to say whatever you like using an accompanying app. The robot’s eyes are also designed in a way that makes it seem like it’s always looking at you. This makes Big Clapper look, frankly, a little terrifying.
Anyway, we hope that Big Clapper gets funded enough that Takahashi decides to make a smaller, more affordable version. Imagine a Little Clapper that’s just a few inches tall, sitting on your desktop, cheering you on with single-minded intensity. You just might get something done with your life.