Sunday, Nov. 16, 2003

Lap Cat

Inventor: Omron

Studies show that the company of a cat can help keep you calm and happy. This robotic version—known as NeCoRo in his native Japan and Max in the U.S.—is so lifelike in his appearance, responses and movements that Maryland "robo-therapists" Alex and Elena Libin have recommended him for nursing-home residents and dementia patients who could use a pet's love but are unable to care for the real thing. Stroke Max with an open palm or call him by name, and he will purr, turn his head, move his ears and blink his eyes. He can also sit, stretch and "sleep" but never goes looking for a litter box.

Availability: Now, for research only
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