Announced today, Yukai Engineering Inc., the Tokyo-based robotics startup, launched their U.S. Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for Petit Qoobo, the company’s newest therapy pet robot and “little sister” to the original Qoobo. Designed for those who cannot live with pets, including allergy sufferers, apartment dwellers and seniors, the original Qoobo wags its tail in response to one’s touch. Small enough to fit in a purse or bag, the new Petit Qoobo additional features include a “heart” that beats and a tail that wags in reaction to sounds and voices.
Features of Petit Qoobo include:
- Wags in response to your touch
- Wags in response to voices and sounds (e.g., sounds of clapping or one’s breathing)
- Occasionally vibrates to let you know it’s breathing
- So small you can bring it anywhere
“The crowdfunding success in Japan really goes to show how people are increasingly turning to robots for emotional comfort and how it’s becoming ‘normal’ to ‘adopt’ robots into their lives,” Yukai Engineering CEO Shunsuke Aoki said. “People also seem to be embracing this new human-robot relationship more while in self-quarantine. We can see that trend in the 30-40 percent increase in Qoobo’s sales since the Covid-19 outbreak began in Japan, compared to the same two-month period last year. We are very excited to introduce this new pet alternative to the U.S. consumers.”
The unit price will range from $60 to $80 with the goal fundraising the total of $150K, including the $125K already crowdfunded in Japan**. The Petit Qoobo is expected to ship to the U.S. in December 2020.
Below are their Indiegogo campaign offerings from Aug. 4 through Sept. 28:
- Price: Super Early Bird, $60; Early Bird, $70; Standard, $80; or Outing Set (1 unit of Petit Qoobo of your choice + 1 carry bag), $100. (Standard Qoobo is also available for $135 each.)
- Colors: Gris (gray); Marron (brown); Noir (black); and Blanc (white)
** Indiegogo InDemand allows funds raised on a separate platform to be carried over to a new Indiegogo campaign.
Source: qoobo, Indiegogo