How would you like to be soothed by a robot that looks like a furry cushion with a tail?

If you don’t own a pet but want to cuddle with something soft and furry when you come home at the end of the day, then robotics company YUKAI Engineering Inc. may have just the quirky product for you.  The company has developed what they’re calling a “therapy robot” that comes in the shape of a cushion, but with a moving tail attached!

YUKAI Enginieering recently revealed the therapy robot Qoobo, which gets its name from a combination of the French word queue (meaning “tail”) and “robot.” It debuted at the CEATEC JAPAN 2017 exhibition event that took place at the Makuhari Messe International Convention Complex from October 4 to 6.

Qoobo isn’t just a cushion with a cute design, though. It’s an interactive machine that’s meant to be therapeutic, and it’s programmed to move its tail in response to how you touch it. Touch it softly, and the tail will move gently; pet it aggressively and the machine will respond with strong bold swings of its tail — and it’s up to you to interpret the virtual interaction with the gadget.

The concept for Qoobo began with one of the company’s product designers wishing that she had something to soothe her tired soul when she got home each night. From there, they proceeded to develop a robot that could help people relax like a pet dog or cat would, with the focus on giving the machine an animal tail.

To create such a robot, they studied what size and weight would be ideal for cuddling and carrying around and also what material would feel pleasant when petted. They also looked very carefully at actual animal tails to develop a program that would faithfully recreate their movement.

▼ Check out the tail action in this short introductory video.

▼ And they also have a promotional video
showcasing Qoobo acting as a companion robot.

▼ They’ve made the robot available in two colors, “husky gray” and
“french brown”. Both colors look quite cuddly, wouldn’t you say?

They haven’t announced a price yet for Qoobo, but the robot is expected to go on sale sometime around summer next year. If a little mechanical companionship in the form of a furry cushion is what you’re looking for, you may want to keep an eye out for updates on this unique gadget.

We, for one, would be fascinated to see how the market responds to a cushion-shaped robot designed to comfort people! It’d certainly be a lot more pleasant to come home to than a robot dog that faints if your feet smell bad.

Source: PR Times
Top image: Qoobo product website
Insert images: PR Times, Qoobo product website
Related: YUKAI Engineering Inc.