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on February 19, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.
Panasonic successfully funded around $ 100,000 for a limited edition robot farting cat with voice and face recognition. Nicobo looks more like a sock puppet than a cat, alebit one with advanced electronics, but people grabbed the only 320 that Panasonic makes almost immediately.
Nicobo is crammed with sensory devices and processors. The camera and microphones inside search and listen to the owner and recognize the lighting conditions, so behavior can change depending on the time of day and weather. Sensors under the outer cover recognize when and with how much pressure they are touched. The cat can spin in circles, blink its eyes and wag its tail, but cannot move. The cat doesn’t even purr, but the embedded AI is designed to help you learn a limited amount of Japanese, specifically a type of baby talk known as katakoto, which is made up of fragmented sentences. When the AI chooses to randomly express anger, Nicobo becomes less eloquent but more powerful at communication and skips loud fart simulations, albeit happily with no simulated smells. The 320 people who took the chance of a farting cat robot that speaks like a small child will pay about $ 360 for the privilege, plus a monthly subscription fee of $ 10 for a smartphone connection and future updates. Cheaper than a real cat in the long run, but still not a cheap purchase.
Robot friends and pets are much more workable now, as talkative and biometric AI has gotten very good at recognizing people and having dialogues with a simulated personality. Nicobo’s allure lies in how quickly the stock was bought out, but it’s not even the only robotic AI for cats out there right now. CR Robotics introduced a cat-faced robot called Mylo last year as a tool for people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Irish born Mylo is not quite as soft as Nicobo. The cat’s face looks from a screen at a square white box that looks welded to a Roomba. However, unlike Ncobo, Mylo can move about on wheels and communicate in full sentences to execute commands to make video calls, monitor heart rate and call an ambulance if the user falls or appears to be in medical trouble. The cat face was added after the developers discovered that people are more comfortable with a cat face than a human or robot image. Those who prefer a human face with their diligence may prefer Grace, the very realistic humanoid robot from Awakening Health. However, if you prefer your robots to be bloated, you’ll have to wait for Panasonic to bring out the next version of Nicobo.
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