I liked the tactile emphasis of this robot toy, I also thought about it’s use as an adult toy for reflection and comfort – also the possibility of rehabilitation assistance for elderly people who have been forced to lose their pets due to social and health circumstances or moving to communal living. I’m already saving up for one.
In much the same way as vegetarianism could be thought of as evolutionary, perhaps robotic pets could be seen as ‘technolutionary’, even ‘real’ zoo’s could finally have had their day.
The downside is that this new robotic cat is still pretty disappointing when compared to science fiction and popular media examples which socially construct the desire/discourse for ever better ‘life-like’ technology at an affordable/acceptable price. Lastly, it also occurred that I have found myself talking freely to my own cat who seems to listen in it’s own feline kind of way, provoking thoughts of a therapeutic, tactile (pro-active), listening, telepresence kind of companion robot which is tailor made to an individuals desires and needs. A foundation for this concept is nicely portrayed in Phillip Pullman’s – His Dark Materials trilogy with everyone having their own ‘daemon‘.