Want a Virtual Pet? Meet Moflin…

This past week has seen lots of innovations coming out of the 2021 Consumer Electronics Show.

One of those is Moflin, an AI pet robot with “emotional capabilities”, that looks like a fluffy gray guinea pig, with black beady eyes and soft fur.

Here’s a short video:

Created by Vanguard Industries, the robot uses a unique algorithm that allows Moflin to learn and grow, using built-in sensors to evaluate its surroundings. These sensors include accelerometers with gyroscopes, touch sensors, and microphones.

That means its capable of distinguishing between different people depending on how they interact with it, and can express its ‘feelings’ accordingly, through movements and unbearably cute sounds that were inspired by real animal noises.

According to the company, each Moflin will develop an individual personality over time, depending on the environment and “how their owners treat them”, with possible emotions including anxious, calm, happy, excited, and more – just like a real pet.

When it needs to be charged, you place it in a nest-like wireless charging cradle – and when you do, Moflin will make “cute sounds and small reactions” like a real sleeping animal would.

Vanguard Industries says that it aims to successfully deliver its first Moflin in March, and you can get your hands on one by pledging $400, with delivery expected by June 2021.

Given that many airlines are cutting back on allowing emotional support animals, Moflin might be just what a traveler needs to keep them calm. That’s assuming you’ve been treating Moflin with tender loving care…

Personally, I can’t see myself wanting one of these. If I’m going to buy an artificial robot, I want one that will do things for me. Like clean my house, or even better, write my daily blog…

Source: TechRadar

38 thoughts on “Want a Virtual Pet? Meet Moflin…

  1. It seems a bit corny to me, but it wouldn’t surprise me if something like this takes off, with the wealthy who think nothing of dropping $400 on an expensive toy.

    Do you remember Furbies, Jim? Kids kept bringing them to school, and some were even stolen, causing the principal to ban them from school. A kid in my class brought one anyway. After I confiscated it, I put it in my closet at school. The thing kept making noises to the point that I had to remove the batteries.

    Out of curiosity, I Googled Furbies and found this note.

    On January 13, 1999, it was reported the National Security Agency of the United States banned Furbies from entering NSA’s property due to concerns that they may be used to record and repeat classified information, advising those that see any on NSA property to “contact their Staff Security Officer for guidance.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My kids were brought up with dogs and three of them have a dog, but the fourth is living in an inner city environment with both parents working and a dog would be left alone for too long. This would seem an ideal ‘pet’ for each of their boys – perhaps see how the robots develop individually…
    But not at that price!

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  3. Although this is an interesting progression of AI into our lives, I am with you Jim, I want our foray into the world of home robotics to remove some of my chores from the list. Plus how long will it take before Moflin and Alexa have a secret plan to take over?

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  4. Seem rather creepy to me! We used to visit a housebound old lady on our library round who had a little fluffy dog that looked like a stuffed toy and a toy cat that looked real – it would mew when the light was switched on or off, not quite as sophisticated as this new toy.

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