Sony’s Aibo is a brilliant robot dog, but lets get real. Not everyone is a dog person, never mind if it is a real dog or a robotic dog. But thanks to Elephant Robotics, cat person will soon get his or her own pet robotic cat.
Called MarsCat (don’t ask), it is a bionic cat/home robot that is fully autonomous, and like Aibo, it is highly interactive. Consider it as an Aibo’s alternative for cat person, with the bonus with programmability.
Like a real cat, MarsCat is more than happy going about its own business, avoiding obstacles when it encounters any, and does what a real cat does, including walking, running, plays with toys, chew on its nails (note: not actual biting involved, btw), and it even stretches and kneads too.
Granted the look and the motion is somewhat robotic, but hey, it is a robotic cat, isn’t it? MarsCat is responsive and features sensitive interactions that will allow it to react differently depending on where and how it is petted. And yeah, it purrs too.
Plus, it can recognize human facials and reacts accordingly. Though we are not sure what happens if it sees a rat or mouse. This robotic feline further boasts voice recognition and it is able to response to voice. For now, it can recognize 20 keywords, including come here, sit, be quiet – just to name a few.
Each MarsCat is unique. In addition to the color of its body and eyes, it bears its own personality. Personality can be random or set and adapts based on its interaction with people.
Last but not the least, included with MarsCat is an open API that allows it to be programmed, but how you really can take advantage of it being programmable, I will leave it to you to explore.
Elephant Robotics MarsCat Bionic Cat/Home Robot is set to ship sometime in March-July 2020 and it is available to order via Kickstarter in the next 40 days or so. The good news is, it is not a bank breaker like Aibo.
For $649-749, you can secure a unit. The campaign was launched on December 26, but already it is fully funded. So, a pledge for a product is a pre-order.
All images courtesy of Elephant Robotics.