Fuzzy Robotic Feline Saunters Into Market
TOKYO, JAPAN -- Problem: you want to own a pet robot, but you are a cat
person--and most available entertainment pet robots, such as
Now, Japanese electronic component maker Omron has an answer: a cat-like entertainment robot that looks furry and real, and responds to its owner, the company announced this week.
The Necoro robot, which comes in two colors, is covered with artificial fur. Necoro is equipped with sensors on its head, chin, cheek and back, which can sense when it is touched. It also has voice recognition and visual recognition systems, and contains an acceleration sensor that detects its own posture, according to company representatives.
"By patting, holding, and talking to the robot, users can communicate with the robot," said Tadashi Katsuno, a spokesperson for Omron.
A limited number of 5000 robots will be on sale on November 20 priced at $1526, available for order only by telephone or Internet within Japan, Katsuno says.
The company developed a programmed system called Mac (for Mind And Consciousness) that gives a robot the capabilities to learn and build emotions, the company says.
Necoro cannot walk around but its body's 15 joints allow it to sit down and stand up naturally. Via a built-in audio speaker, it makes 48 different mews. A rechargeable battery lasts up to one and a half hours.