From the late 90’s Furbys, to the early 2000’s robotic dogs – AI Voice driven companions have always been a strange phenomenon. Panasonic have recently stepped into the robotic companion arena with their very own farting cat – Nicobo.
Nicobo began life as a kickstarter on the website Makuake, where 300+ backers had put forwards over $100,000 USD to support the product.
While is does just look like a soccer ball covered in a sock, and Panasonic promotes it’s skills in flatulence – Nicobo does have a lot of genuine interesting features hidden underneath it’s cute exterior. Multiple-microphones not only recognize your voice and commands, but also the direction of your voice. As well as an incorporated webcam to recognize your face, Nicobo also has multiple touch sensors tuned to know when you are hugging or petting it.
It won’t be easy to pick up a new Nicobo companion, with only 320 of the devices being produced at a price of around $350 USD. Not only do they come with the initial price tag, after the first 6 months of ownership there is also a subscription fee of $10 USD to receive the latest software updates.
While Nicobo may not be able to perform the same tricks as a normal pet, at only $10 USD a month – it sure is cheaper! We look forward to seeing some hands on demonstrations with Nicobo once the product is released at the end of March 2022.