The cuddly robot that just wants to make you feel better [video]

Lovot, an adorable robotic pet, has taken the world by storms since Japanese robotic startup, Groove X, returned to CES 2020. Lovot is on sale in Japan for approximately $3 000 (R43 200).

Whether you’ve wanted WALL-E or prefer Boston Dynamics’ Spot – the latter not really being a pet, but still adorable enough to warrant a mention, we’re sure that Lovot will grab your attention too.

Robo-pets have been all the rage since the film Red Planet featured AMEE (Autonomous Mapping Evaluation and Evasion). And of course, WALL-E. But the gap between fiction and real-life was still pretty large.

However, with the recent strides in artificial intelligence and robotics technology, we are edger closer and closer to science-fiction by creating intelligent systems that behave and react like human beings. Or pets.

What makes Lovot so… lovable?

Lovot has a teddy bear-like design with large adorable eyes and a soft exterior, which makes it look and ‘feel’ like a real pet. In addition, Lovot can also mimic real-life pets.

The adorable little thing can dance when it is happy and sulk when it’s sad. When you pick it up and cuddle it, it will fall asleep, and Lovot will go “out of its way to fill you with joy”.

“A little love can change the world.”

LOVOT is powered by love

Meet Lovot: Groove X’s adorable robotic pet

How does Lovot work?

Lovot is equipped with pressure sensors which allows it to react to touch, as well as depth sensors and a camera to help it navigate. Furthermore, it can take photos and respond to voice commands.

When you pick Lovot up, it retracts its wheels inside its body, and its soft exterior can be changed if the need arises. A single charge will last 45 minutes, after which it automatically moves to its ‘nest’ for charging. 

“Our goal is simple: create a robot that makes you happy. When you touch your LOVOT, embrace it, even just watch it, you’ll find yourself relaxing, feeling better. It’s a little like feeling love toward another person.”

Cute and intelligent

Lovot uses advanced facial recognition algorithms to identify its owner, and can giggle when its cuddled. The adorable will wave its arms in the air if it wants to be picked up.

If you ignore Lovot, it will most likely follow you around the house until you give it some attention. Which is more than I can say for my cat, Gotham, who just ignores me most of the time.

Groove X founder and CEO Kaname Hayashi told TechCrunch’s Brian Heater at CES 2020 that the adorable robo-pet will be released in the US, and hopefully on a global scale as well, if the company can find an investor.

“We aimed to develop a robot that won’t do any of your work. In fact, it might just stop you from doing it. Everything about Lovot is to specifically create a sense of attachment.”

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