If you like AIBO, the robotic dog, you will love the MarsCat robotic cat! Elephant Robotic is a Chinese tech company that is designing the first bionic cat. The product is still in the Kickstarter phase, but it has already received ten times more money than required to finish the production!
Who would have thought? We are only at the beginning phases of the robotics and already at this point, people are producing things which are way too much fun. There are already some jobs in which robots replaced humans, but having robotic pets? Is that really that wise? After all, don’t we love our cats and dogs just because they connect with us on a personal level, something we are not able to do in some cases with other people? So what is it about the MarsCat that makes it so special?
Let’s check it out together!
Your Autonomous Home Robotic Pet
MarsCat is not only bionic but also independent. That means it will have its temper. You can use one of the available voice commands to call it, but it might not come to you every time. That is not because the system doesn’t work, but because your robotic cat has feelings. And at that moment, it doesn’t feel like coming to you!
This is a huge step forward and probably the most important part of the bionic cat. It is programmed in that manner that it will not always do what you want – which may annoy you from time to time, but that’s the fun part. It acts like a real cat and we all know that real cats are often grumpy, centric and spiteful at times!
You can pet, hug, and even play with your cat. The default option is a white cat with blue eyes and a red collar. However, you can also pick ginger, grey, and black cats, all depending on your preference. The design of the cat is cute and attractive, especially if you keep in mind that it packs a bunch of robotic parts below its exterior.
16 Motorized Robotic Joints Make MarsCat Extremely Bionic
The entire purpose of bionic products is to design artificial systems that will replicate the actual living systems. MarsCat will use no less than 16 motorized robotic joints to ensure its motions are realistic. This is quite enough, as it is estimated by the people behind the project.
The servo motors will include two head servos, four servos in each of the four legs, and two tail servos. If you are interested in adding robotic joints to your next projects, read more about these products to discover how they work.
What Can a MarsCat Do?
Your robotic pet is capable of “seeing” the environment by using the camera in his nose. The 5MP camera allows your cat to see your face, as well as toys. The feline can play with its unique set of toys, including toy-fish, toy-ball, and Teasers. It utilizes the recognition of moving objects to play and locate their bed. Thanks to six capacitive touch sensors, MarsCat can “feel” when you are petting it.
You can use more than a dozen commands to talk to your cat. Try calling its name by saying “Mars” or a simple “kitten” or “cat.” Some other available commands are walked, run, sit, stop, come here, look at me, etc. The important thing to note is that your cat has feelings, and it might not listen to you every time!
MarsCat utilizes the Raspberry PI quad-core microprocessor, and it comes with a speaker and a microphone that enable it to speak.
Shape Your MarsCat’s Personality
As MarsCat spends time in your home, your interaction (or non-interaction) with it will shape its personality. Some cats are cheerful and vivacious, while others prefer lying down and being lazy most of the day. Your feline might use every opportunity to meow and “talk” to you, but other robotic pets might not be that enthusiastic for interaction.
You will be an integral part of how your robotic cat’s personality is shaped. For example, if you talk to your cat more, you will find it meowing more often. And if you hug and pet it frequently, your feline will use every opportunity to interact with you.
Developers will appreciate knowing that MarsCat is open-sourced and programmable. That allows you to program it any way you want, such as change its eye color or modify sounds.
The battery life is two hours with active movement, and five hours with regular movement. You use a USB-C cable to charge your pet, and the manufacturer announced that they are working on a wireless charger, too.
MarsCat has recently finished a funding period, and collected $213,189, although the goal set by the manufacturers was $20,000. The product should be available for purchase during 2020, and its retail price should be $1,299.
The world we live in today certainly has a lot of joy. If someone was telling me about a cat robot a few years ago, I would laugh it off. But I want this little bundle of joy around me!
All jokes aside, MarsCat is definitely an interesting and advanced project and there are many people who will certainly love it. We’ve mentioned all there’s to know about MarsCat and the advantages are numerous! For once, you will not have to deal with hair all over the place and that is certainly a start. If you want to have a spec-clean home and a cat, now you can have both!