Panasonic Nicobo Cat Robot
Let’s face it, when you combine the lockdowns with winter blues, things can get a bit dreary at home. So, Panasonic came up with Nicobo, a cat-like robot that, when talked to, wags its tail and mimics what was said. It was developed in collaboration with professor Michio Okada of Toyohashi University of Technology, and marks the first household robot for the manufacturer of appliances and home electronics. Read more for two videos of it in-action and additional information.

At $360 USD, it immediately sold out on Japanese crowdfunding platform Makuake and deliveries are set to begin in March 2022. The pre-production unit has a limited Japanese vocabulary, so the robot has various emotions, while sometimes not responding and talking without being addressed at others. It doesn’t move on its own but can slowly spin around or nod up and down, complete with a camera for facial recognition. However, it does reacts to strong lights when they’re detected by its sensor.

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We made Nicobo look adorable with its baby talk and somewhat vulnerable face,” said the head of the development team at Panasonic.