Hasbro made the headlines when it unveiled its first robotic stuffed cat which is aimed to provide company for seniors. It turns out, it’s quite cool.
The first reviews are already in and are quite positive. The “companion pet” was introduced with the tagline “Why should kids have all the fun?” and is aimed at seniors and lonely people who can’t have a real pet for whatever reason.
Of course at first some media tried to be all funny and to use the cute kitty to try and make viral publications by claiming it was a “nightmare robot cat” and other arguably dull claims. Instead of getting angry, Hasbro did the sensible thing and started to send it’s robotic cat for reviews.
Alyson Shontell from BusinessInsider has had the cat for more than a week now and is pleased. She has tested the robotic companion in several different environments, she says, and the kitty did well.
I gave him to two elderly women above the age of 85. Both agreed the cat was cute, and liked the idea of not having to take care of a traditional pet. But when asked if they’d want to receive this robotic cat for a gift they didn’t reply with a high vote of confidence. “I wouldn’t throw it away,” one said.
While it’s marketing has been aimed at seniors, the cute kitty is actually suitable for all ages from 5 to 105, Hasbro says. The cat has several sensors and it is able to react to various events such as petting, scratching, even when the light goes out. The kitty is also able to purr realistically and you can also feel the purring thanks to vibrating motors.
He has sensors all over and the metal in his back kind of feels like an actual spine when you pet him. He’s soft, although he doesn’t feel like an actual cat. He feels like an ordinary stuffed animal.
So yes, while the robo kitty is probably not going to replace real cats anytime soon, it is actually a fun and useful way to bring some smiles to a lonely elderly person or to provide for a nice interactive toy for a child which will help getting used to real animals.