This Headless RoboCat Could be Your Next Pet

A Tokyo-based robotics group created a headless robotic cat that responds to human touch.
Shelby Rogers

Millions of people around the world proudly own a dog or cat. However, one company provided a 'simpler' way to have the benefits of a pet without the hassle of cleanup or maintenance. There's no shedding, hissing, biting, clawing, or feeding. There's also no head to its body. 

Qoobo is a headless cat-like robot that claims to provide happiness simply by people petting it. The instructions on the website simply state to "stroke, react, get healed." And, according to the engineers who developed this robot, petting a headless stuffed cat body could help your heart more than you think. Tokyo-based electronics company Yukai Engineering Co. went to great lengths to try and duplicate the "healing qualities" of a cat sitting on your lap. 

"In development, we stuck to the good feeling of weight. … In addition, we have studied the actual tail and developed mechanisms and programs to reproduce the movement," the company said in a statement.

Qoobo will respond to touch, the team said, just like a real cat. However, it only moves its tail back and forth or vibrates its tail. That's it. (If you're not a cat person or have had horrible cat-owning experiences before, maybe those limitations sound better than the real thing.)

Stroking a headless cat robot might be one of the most terrifying things we can think about, but it's been generating a lot of buzz online. Interested in getting your own Qoobo? The robot will be sold sometime in 2018, according to the company. It comes in two colors, a husky gray or French brown. It's roughly one foot (0.3 meters) long and weighs just two pounds (almost 1 kg). 

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