This $100 Lifelike Robotic Companion Cat Is a Toy Made for Seniors
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Hasbro may be best known for toys that appeal to kids, but it wants to appeal to their grandparents as well.
The Pawtucket, R.I.-based company just launched Joy for All, a new toy line of realistic companion stuffed animals aimed specifically for seniors.
Joy for All debuts with Companion Pet Cats, which according to the company “look, feel and sound like real cats. But they're so much more than soft fur, soothing purrs and pleasant meows.”
The fluffy robotic felines – which come in creamy white, silver with white paws or orange tabby – are equipped with multiple built-in motion detecting sensors. They respond to petting and hugging “much like the cats you know and love.” Presumably unlike the cats you know and love, they don’t require food or litter-box maintenance.
At $100, a Companion Pet Cat doesn’t exactly come cheap. With the proper context, however, the price doesn’t seem that bad. Remember Sony’s robotic Aibo dogs? Launched in 1999 and available until 2006, the clunky electronic canines could move around, bark and (ostensibly) respond to user commands. The cost? A casual $2,000.
More recently, there is a Paro – a robotic seal that responds to tough, light, sound and temperature, built to soothe seniors suffering from dementia. Paro hails from Japan, but recently gained mainstream stateside exposure thanks to its recent star-making turn in Aziz Ansari’s Netflix show, Master of None.
Don’t fall in love too quickly, though. Paro apparently costs more than $7,500, which makes Hasbro’s line of similar, but far more affordable, feline friends a welcome alternative.