Teddy-bear based Robotic User Interface
The concept of using a robot as an interface between the real and information worlds can be referred to as a Robotic User Interface (RUI). Using the RUI system, a user operates the humanoid robot with same shape and physicality of a virtual avatar in the information world. This RUI and an avatar are always synchronized. Hence, by operating the RUI a user can input the motion of an avatar and obtain output information from the motion of the RUI.
Also, more explanations there:
We integrated the second RobotPHONE system with a voice communication system, and gave it the appearance of a teddy bear. By using the teddy bear-like robot as a shape-sharing device, we also intended to refine the essence of a communication device. When a user communicates with this system, the teddy bear acts as his/her physical avatar. Therefore it was very important to give the teddy bear-like robot similar shape and placement of degrees of freedom to a human being.
More about it in this paper: Noriyoshi SHIMIZU, Naoya KOIZUMI, Maki SUGIMOTO, Hideaki NII, Dairoku SEKIGUCHI, Masahiko INAMI, Teddy-bear based Robotic User Interface, Proceedings of ACM SIGCHI International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology ACE 2005, pp., Jun. 2005. (a video here).