Don't call it a hugbot, but the HugVie. It's a huggable robot. But no, it's worse than that:
a robot that looks sort of like a generic mono-legged human baby, or perhaps a doll with no eyes, fingers or toes.
How would we, ah, use such a thing? The nation that brought the world keitai has the answer. It's a phone you smash into your face while squeezing it. Oh yes:
It serves as the medium through which people converse in a new way using a smartphone. While holding, or pressing the Hugvie against the face, it vibrates slightly at the same frequency as the voice on the other end, adding another degree of intimacy to the conversation.
It's based on the Telenoid body-thing. And has two (2) vibrators inside.
More madness from Ishiguro. Japan continues to lead humanity straight down the uncanny valley.