Nicobo’s prime directive is to do nothing and be cute.

Robot technology has been advancing at a steady pace and is capable of a variety of activities like stocking shelves and cheerleading. But in humanity’s race to create smarter, stronger, and better-dancing robots, we sometimes lose sight of the intrinsic value of doing nothing.

Here to remind us of this is Nicobo from Panasonic. Panasonic describes Nicobo as a “weak robot” in that it doesn’t do much of anything really. It just kind of wiggles around, wags its tail, mumbles stuff, and looks at you. However, in doing so it provides companionship and dependency because you’d need to carry it around everywhere.

Cute companionship robots are certainly not new in Japan, but Nicobo has a revolutionary subroutine that sets it apart from all the others: It farts!

For millennia, humanity has been torn by the double-edged swords that are farts. As a source of mirth and merriment that transcends culture and time, farts are indispensable to society, but they also tend to come with repulsive odors rendering them undesirable in most social situations. Robot farts, on the other hand, have all of the pros and none of the cons thus achieving a peak farting performance that surpasses armpit farts by at least 117.895 percent, according to my own independent study.

In addition to farting, Nicobo is capable of learning a few Japanese words over time. This all comes in a 23-by-18-centimeter (9-by-7-inch) ball weighing about 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds) and covered in a knit fabric available in stone grey, smoke navy, and shell pink.

The Nicobo unit costs 60,500 yen (US$448) and there’s a monthly fee starting at 1,100 yen ($8) to cover its intelligence upgrades. There’s also a doctor care service and a knit replacement service that can be purchased as one-time payments or factored into the monthly plan.

Pre-orders for Nicobo are currently being accepted and general sales will begin on 16 May. Check it out if you’re looking for a companion that sits around the house all day farting while not paying rent and you don’t already have a roommate.

Source: Panasonic, PR Times via Netlab
Top image: YouTube/Panasonic Japan(パナソニック公式)
Images: PR Times
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