Lonely? Stressed? Lonely and stressed? Yukai Engineering is hoping to solve both of those issues with their new product, Qoobo. Half-robot and half-pillow, Qoobo is the latest innovation in “tail therapy,” at least according to the product’s Kickstarter page.
The robot cat-pillow hybrid features a round body and a wagging tail. Qoobo features no head as an experiment with how humans can interact with robots without the emotional signifiers that we communicate through our facial expressions.
Depending on how you touch and interact with Qoobo, it will respond differently. After a gentle pat the tail will move slowly back and forth. A vigorous rub will reward you with a fiercely wagging tail. Sometimes the robot will even wag its tail “just to say hello.”
This is part of the company’s aforementioned “tail therapy” experiment. Those of us with pets will be familiar with the experience of a greeting from our furry friends and their reaction to our interactions with them. Qoobo hopes to simulate those positive feelings.
Though it may seem a bit ridiculous at first, this kind of product would be perfect for people living in non-pet-friendly buildings or people suffering from pet allergies.
Oh yeah.. That’s a good rub
Qoobo is already well past its Kickstarter goal of 5,000,000 yen (~45,000 USD). It has pulled in 12,360,156 yen (~112,000 USD)–as of this writing–with close to 1,000 backers. You can even grab a pack of Qoobo stickers if you like the aesthetic but don’t want to spend the cash on the actual robot (they’re thrown in with your purchase if you order the robot).
Qoobo is set to release in August of this year. The company is still taking orders through the Kickstarter page, but the early bird discounts are already sold out. The regular edition costs 10,000 yen (~90 USD), and you can choose between Husky Gray and French Brown colors.