Three years after Yukai Engineering’s headless robotic cat first wagged its way into our hearts, the therapy pillow is getting a smaller, portable sibling called the Petit Qoobo. Like its predecessor, the Petit Qoobo is meant for seniors in nursing homes or people who can’t own pets because of allergies or apartment rules but still want the loving embrace of a soft, cuddly friend. The idea proved to be so comforting that Qoobo owners asked for a miniature version that they could carry with them at all times. Thus, Petit Qoobo was born.
In addition to vibrating softly to mimic purring and wagging its tail in reaction to a user’s touch, Petit Qoobo will also wag its stubby little tail in response to sounds. Its main selling point is that it’s small enough to fit in a purse, so maybe there will come a day in the future when it’ll be natural to see these pillows out in the wild. Though Petit Qoobo is just a prototype for now, it should be cheaper than the original Qoobo, which is available in Japan and the US for $149 on Amazon with an exorbitant shipping price of $50. Petit Qoobo is expected to be released by the end of this year.
Along with Petit Qoobo, Yukai Engineering is also showing off a newer version of its Bocco Emo companion robot, which was first unveiled at CES 2019. The adorable robot is more cheerful than its name would suggest, and it makes BB-8-like chirping sounds in response to the user’s emotions. It relays voice and text messages for people who don’t have smartphones like children or the elderly, and it connects to sensors that can monitor door locks, temperature, motion, and home activity. But most of all, it’s “designed to grow closer to your hearts every day, just as pets do.” The Bocco Emo is expected to be released in March 2020.