Responding to my parenthetical plea for artificial felines, Henry Farrell wrote to point me me (via BoingBoing) to NeCoRo, which (so far as I can make out) is a Japanese company manufacturing a line of toy robot cats. They have a page of QuickTime movies of the toys in action, with a presumably non-robotic little girl. Henry calls them "unnerving", and BoingBoing calls them "creepy", but I think they're charming. The manufacturers don't seem to have given any thought to making them interact with animals or with each other, as opposed to being scratched behind the ears, batting at sticks, etc. --- just as well, or I'd be tempted to get one as a playmate for Kara. (She likes to play with other cats, but needs to establish that she's in charge first, and they tend to find that a bit intimidating.)
Update that afternoon: via a correspondent who prefers to remain nameless, I give you Robokoneko, the robot kitten with cellular automaton brain, from the studio of the inimitable Prof. Dr. Hugo de Garis.
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Posted by crshalizi at May 27, 2005 09:04 | permanent link