Trying to sleep next to someone who regularly sounds like a Harrier jump jet taking off can turn the most mild-mannered spouse into a homicidal maniac. But never fear: the Japanese are on the case, and their secret weapon against snoring is a robotic polar bear.
Japan Trends has discovered Jukusui-kun, a cuddly bear-shaped pillow that detects when its bedmate is snoring and gently coaxes him or her to move by tickling their face. Apparently, a light tickle will cause the sufferer to turn from lying on their back onto their side or front, without waking then up. That's got to be preferable to a slap from your sleep-deprived other half.
Jukusui-kun (which means 'deep sleep' in Japanese, apparently) doesn't only use sound to detect the snoring. Users also stick their hand in a pulse oxygen meter and when the device notices blood oxygen levels dropping, it knows the subject is having difficultly breathing. Out comes the tickling paw.
While we can't fault the ingenuity of the clever folk at Waseda University who are responsible for this cuddly creation, we're not sure that sticking a strange robot in a person's bed is the best way to ensure a healthy night's sleep. What if the bear develops self-awareness and decides to shave off the poor snorer's eyebrows?
Would you want a robotic polar bear as a bed fellow? Let us know in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.