Joy For All Companion - Robot Pet

Hasbro's Joy For All Companion is a robotic pet cat; check it out about halfway through the following video, which also covers the Paro robot seal.


(Hasbro's Joy for All Companion)

This looks like a cat a 7-year-old would draw. It has all the cat-like features you’d expect; button nose, cute ears, whiskers, but there’s something that just feels “wrong” about it.

It’s clearly a toy, even if it’s hard to pinpoint why exactly. The weight is nice, it feels solid to hold, and like it would be hard to break. But the fur is coarse and the shape is very rigid, so no cuddle points there.

The cat turns on via a small switch concealed in its belly, and you can set it to “on” or “mute”, the difference being that it will move around in mute, but won’t purr and yelp.

The cat has a number of sensors installed that respond to different actions. Rub it behind its ears and it starts purring, a low comforting growl that makes you feel like you’ve achieved something. It also meows for attention. Stroking it in different places can cause it to lift its paw and roll over. But this also causes a weird clicking mechanical noise — daka-daka-daka-daka — which is very disconcerting. I checked, and mine wasn’t faulty, this is how this is meant to sound: after all, it’s a $99 robot covered in faux fur.

Fans of sf great Philip K. Dick recall his proposal to meet your needs with a robotic cat in his 1968 novel Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep.

An inspiration came to Isidore. "What about an exact electric duplicate of your cat? We can have a superb handcrafted job by Wheelright & Carpenter in which every detail of the old animal is faithfully repeated..."
(Read more about Robotic cat)

Via The Hustle.

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