I’ve officially reached the point in quarantine where a farting cat robot has claimed the number one spot on my wish list. I’m specifically talking about Nicobo — Panasonic’s very own companion robot.
First spotted by Gizmodo, Nicobo doesn’t really do much other than wag its tail, turn around, blink its little eyes, and talk a bit. Oh, and it also farts when the mood strikes. It also looks more like a stuffed sock than it does a cat, but it’s still very cute regardless.
Hidden on the inside, however, are some pretty advanced features. Using built-in microphones and cameras, Nicobo can recognize your face and voice as well as turn towards you. And, with touch sensors, it knows when you’re petting it or hugging it.
However, securing your own Nicobo isn’t as simple as hitting the “order” button. According to Gizmodo, Panasonic only plans on making 320 units for around $360 each, all of which have already sold out on pre-order. Production on these sock robots hasn’t started yet either — the company is attempting to raise 10,000,000 YEN (about $95,000) through crowdfunding first.
And, just when you thought spending over $300 was enough for Nicobo, you’re stuck with additional expenses. After six months with it, you’ll have to shell out about $10 a month to connect it to your smartphone and to also receive software updates.
I probably wouldn’t say this if any other product were that expensive, but for a lil companion like Nicobo, the money weirdly seems worth it. Then again, maybe I just need to leave my apartment more often.