Not a fan of a hairless robot cat, or creep out by a headless robotic cat? Well, if you are Japan, there is a new alternative robot companion called Neko-chan. From Digirect, Neko-chan is a cat (and Neko-chan is Japanese for “kitty”) is part of the companion robot seller’s Amaenbo series.
You could say Neko-chan is a cross between MarsCat and Qoobo headless cat which is far less robotic (but awesome) than Petoi. Neko-chan is really more like Qoobo with the aesthetic closer to an actual feline.
It features over 100 different recorded cat noises which are triggered by sight, sound and touch via its five sensors. It will react to patting while voice recognition enables it to recognize the owner, and yes, it even purrs like a real cat.
Neko-chan is the default name, but as its owner, you can assign a unique name which the cat robot will register, remember, and recognize moving forward.
Just to be clear, Neko-chan is not like MarsCat. It is not mobile on its own. In other words, it can’t roam around freely like a real cat does. It does, however, like its organic counterpart, sleeps.
Understandably, Neko-chan’s price tag is less prohibitive when compared “actual car robot”. It sells for 19,800 yen (about US$177) and it is available in Japan at departmental stores, toy stores, as well as stores that sells supplies for sensor health care. Oh, yeah, about the latter. Neko-chan is actually targeted at the growing number of long-lying lonely seniors Japan is facing.