Online dating can be a real bummer, not least because it's really hard to tell if you're really interested in spending time with someone just based on a photo and a handful of words.
He, a graduate student at NYU, created the robot as a final project for a couple of classes in the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). It consists of a robot hand that does the swiping and a pad that reads the galvanic skin response—"Basically, how sweaty your palms get" according to He's website— in the user's palms order to inform that swiping.
True Love Tinder Robot also speaks to whomever is using it as it swipes, making wry comments about how you're judging each profile or rhetorically asking if you can imagine spending your life with the person it's about to swipe on. Sometimes it also comments that you're picky.
He isn't the first person to create a robot to operate Tinder. There's Tender, designed by Marcello Gómez Maureira, which is a piece of (literal) meat that swipes right. Slightly closer to True Love Tinder Bot is Tully Arnot's Lonely, a finger that says yes to every profile it comes across. But He's is the first (that I've come across, at least) that sometimes swipes left.
To state the obvious, it's more of a fun piece of tech art commenting on the potential shallowness of Tinder, but I'm all for it. And hey, we're all gonna die alone anyway, might as well have a Tinder-swiping robot to hang out with.
Ethan Chiel is a reporter for Fusion, writing mostly about the internet and technology. You can (and should) email him at firstname.lastname@example.org