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It’s more than 20 years since Sony’s Aibo robotic dog was released (yes, it was really that long ago!) and a recent reboot of the lovable ‘pet’ proved that interactive companions are still popular. But what if you’re more of a cat person?
Well… the MarsCat could be what you’re looking for.
Developed by Chinese firm Elephant Robotics, the MarsCat features 16 motorised joints which allow it to autonomously move around its owner’s home. It’ll also perform activities such as sleeping, playing and even burying imaginary cat poo in a litter box.
By utilising its nose-mounted camera, a depth-sensing laser and a microphone, the MarsCat can recognise and interact with three toys (included), avoid obstacles as it goes and respond to a range of voice commands.
Image credit: Elephant Robotics
But that’s not all… the MarsCat’s brain – a Raspberry Pi microprocessor – allows it to develop a unique personality based on how its owner treats it. For example, the more the owner talks to their MarsCat, the more the robot companion will meow over time. In fact, there are six character traits that each MarsCat can display as they grow: enthusiastic or aloof, energetic or lazy and social or shy.
Furthermore, the MarsCat’s open-source nature means techie owners can create and share software hacks for the robot – should be pretty interesting to see some of the results going forward.
You can find out more about the MarsCat on the official Kickstarter page*. And if you really want one, consider pledging your support for the project as you’ll save 50% over the intended RRP when they go on sale.
Here’s the MarsCat in action:
What do you think? Are people really going to spend $1,299 (c. £990) on a MarsCat, or are the Kickstarter campaign backers going to be the only MarsCat owners going forward? Tweet us @PolytecNews