Hasbro designs robot pet cats for the elderly in order to provide them with a companion. The new robotic pet is more than just a toy as it aims to mimic a real pet cat in more than one way. First of all, the robot cat has real fur and it responds to actions like petting and hugging.
The toy has built-in sensors that detect the movements around it as well as when the toy is being touched. These sensors then respond to the exterior stimuli by reproducing typical cat responses and motions. The cat robot has an incorporated feature called “Vibrapurr” which makes it mimic both the sounds and the vibrating motions that a real cat makes when it purrs. The feature was meant to offer a soothing sound to people cuddling with the pet.
Hasbro representatives have explained that the cat detects motions around it and becomes active after doing so. If it is not touched and it does not detect new movements near it for a few minutes it goes to sleep. It is battery powered and the batteries are already installed by the time it reaches customers.
The manufacturer does recommend however that people interested in purchasing the cat do not allow it to sleep on the floor as accidentally stepping on it could result in a fall or an injury. But that shouldn’t be an issue since it mimics a real cat and will probably prefer the couch anyway. In fact, the robot cat resembles an actual cat to such an extent that it also hates baths like so many real cats do.
The robot cat is just the latest product from a line of Hasbro toys called Joy for All, whose purpose is to support the efforts being made to reduce isolation. The product line is also collaborating with Meals on Wheels in order to help housebound people not only fight off hunger but also the feeling of isolation that they can experience when they spend all of their time inside their homes.
The robot cat, which is formally called the Companion Pet, was designed especially for elderly people that might not be able to care for a real pet because of their health. Besides the fact that it’s obviously not recommended to bathe a robotic pet, you don’t need to do much in the way of maintenance for it as it doesn’t need to be fed or cleaned after. And it won’t scratch owners or furniture either. And at $99 it’s quite affordable.
The toy has already been certified by Guinness World Records as being the World’s Most Therapeutic Robot as it helps elderly people cope with feelings of isolation and loneliness.
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