Hasbro's Lifelike Cat Isn't For Kids; It's For Seniors
Hasbro launched a line of animatronic cats designed for seniors. The "pets" can respond to touch, movement and sound.
Owning a pet can be an enriching experience. Not only because you get to play fetch with Fido or chase-the-string with Mittens, but because pets are good for your health.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pets can decrease your blood pressure and cholesterol levels and encourage you to get more exercise.
Which is why pets are particularly beneficial to the health of older adults. The problem is, many senior citizens are unable to care for a pet. And some — especially the 1.4 million living in nursing homes — may be barred from owning a pet.
Now, Hasbro is tackling this problem paws-first with its Joy for All Companion Pets.
"It's a cat," said one woman in a Hasbro advertisement.
"It's so real. It's really something. It makes you feel happy," another woman replied.
"This is one cat that I'm not allergic to," the first woman said.
Hasbro's Companion Pets are animatronic toys that use built-in sensors to respond to touch, a vibration motor to simulate a cat's purring and soft faux fur for optimal cuddling.
Hasbro said it chose to make the toys after it heard "some of its toys and games are especially appealing to seniors and enhance meaningful interactions with their loved ones."
The company is hardly the first to tackle pet therapy. PARO, a therapy robot developed by Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, has been used in therapy since 2003. It's also far more advanced than Hasbro's Companion Pets. However, the barrier to entry is much higher — PARO costs $6,000 and is a registered medical device. (Video via Ældre Sagen / CC BY 3.0)
Hasbro's Companion Pets aren't registered medical devices, but cost a fraction of the price at $100.
"Oh, I can't believe this. Oh, nice kitty," said one man in a Hasbro advertisement.
Google launches artificially intelligent chatbot 'Bard'
Google has opened a waitlist for users to begin interacting with Bard, an AI tool similar to OpenAI's ChatGPT technology.
What's so important about microchips?
The simple answer: as we’ve become more and more reliant on microchips they’ve simultaneously gotten harder to manufacture.
AI discovers potential new cancer treatment in just 30 days
Researchers from the Univ. of Toronto and Insilico Medicine used an AI-powered database to create a drug that could potentially treat liver cancer.
Judge blocks Wyoming abortion ban days after it took effect
A Wyoming judge has temporarily halted an abortion ban in that state, days after it went into effect, making abortion legal again.
Why is Gwyneth Paltrow being sued for a ski accident?
Gwyneth Paltrow is being sued over a collision at a Utah ski resort. The actress is countersuing, claiming she wasn't at fault.
How a TikTok ban would work
President Joe Biden and lawmakers have signaled support for a ban on TikTok, but experts say it won't easy to carry out.