EMPATHIC AND EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ROBOTS: A CATALOG

PRECURSORS TO EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ROBOTS:  INTERACTIVE PETS/BOTS

The current population of emotional devices grow out of several trends within the toy industry.  The oldest would be the stuffed teddy bears of the early 20th century, and the various forms of dolls which go back millenia.  These were all passive and dependent on the imagination of the user.  The second trend would be the fascination In Europe and east Asia with automatons.  These two trends still drive much of the development of robots and emotional devices, with one goal the mimicing of human behavior (such as Hanson’s Sophia), the other goal that of tactile emotional support (Osaka’s Hugvie).  Some current examples of popular interactive pets and humanoids can be seen below.  Descriptions are direct quotes from the respective websites.

Little Live Pets [http://www.littlelivepets.com/], a division of Moose Games.  They have a series of interactive pets, with ‘up to 100 different combinations of movements and sounds’, including puppies, kittens, a blue dragon, caged birds etc.

YTube= https://youtu.be/8VzuKW9aMiY?t=2

little-live-pet

Hasbro FurReal Pets [https://furreal.hasbro.com/en-us].  A large collection of kittens, puppies etc. with very variable capabilities, some with “up to 100 different combinations of movements and sounds.’  Very similar in capabilities to the Hasbro Joy For All bots.

YTube= https://youtu.be/HkNn-ZM5cY0?t=2

furreal-hasbro

Hasbro Furby Friend [https://furby.hasbro.com/en-us ]:  Get ready to discover a world of surprises with this Furby Connect friend and the Furby Connect World app (see app details below). This Furby Connect friend has a light-up antenna that glows when there’s something new to discover in the app — including music and videos! This Furby Connect friend has lots to say! Even when Furby speaks in Furbish, it’s not hard to figure out what Furby means. This Furby Connect friend has colorful eyes that display more than 150 animations to help express what Furby wants. Interact with a Furby Connect friend by petting, tickling, or shaking Furby, turning Furby upside down, or even moving its antenna like a joystick — then see how Furby reacts! When this Furby Connect friend syncs with the Furby Connect World app, there are more physical and digital ways to interact and more surprises to discover. Does Furby need some beauty sleep? This Furby Connect friend comes with a sleep mask. Just put the sleep mask on, and it’s good night Furby! To wake Furby up, remove the sleep mask — Furby will be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for more fun! Get the Furby Connect World app to explore a world of surprises with a Furby Connect friend. Watch videos together, feed Furby with the app, and raise virtual Furblings in the app. The Furby Connect friend gets updates and new content by connecting to the app!

YTube= https://youtu.be/chim0JtiqWM?t=3

furby-hasbro

Teddy Ruxpin (1986/2017 revision): [https://www.wickedcooltoys.com/products/teddy-ruxpin/].  Everyone’s favorite storytelling bear is back–smart, innovative, cuddly, and more magical than ever.  Parents and grandparents will remember Teddy Ruxpin from the 1980s…this is the classic story-telling bear is updated with modern technology…  Named one of the top 100 toys of all time by Time magazine… Re-imagined for today’s kids, this contemporary version of the iconic toy recreates the magic of the original with animatronic features and a free app that enables children to follow along with the narratives.

Plus, Teddy connects to a smartphone of tablet via Bluetooth.  He tells original tales with life-like animation using over 40 colorful LCD eye expressions and an animatronic mouth that moves in synchronization with the audio.  A touch of his paws allows kids to easily select a story and play or pause it…

Teddy Ruxpin features:  Three original stories already unlocked with purchase, seven additional stories available to purchase in the free Teddy Ruxpin app, color LCD eyes with over 40 animations!  A motorized mouth that syncs to Teddy’s speech; touch sensors allow kids to control the story & songs; two Modes of Play: with or without the free app!; travel with Teddy anytime, anywhere! Wifi not required.

YTube (1986 version)= https://youtu.be/8EshrR-xk2E?t=2

YTube (2017 version)= https://youtu.be/QbC_Cz2BY0E?t=2

teddy-ruxpin

LuvaBella Baby Doll [http://www.myluvabella.com/ ]:  Discover so many real baby surprises with Luvabella! From the moment she opens her eyes and giggles, Luvabella will amaze you with her true-to-life facial expressions and personality! She moves, talks and plays just like a real baby. Through touch and play she affectionately responds to your love! Cover her eyes for a game of peek-a-boo, tickle her tummy and toes to make her giggle, or place a hand on her chest to gently listen to her heartbeat. You can even hold her feet to hear her say “mama” and begin to babble! The more you play with her, the more she’ll talk! Her babble will transform into over 100 clear words and phrases! Caring for Luvabella is fun with her four interactive accessories! Use her spoon to feed her and she’ll chew with delight! If she’s not full, she may ask you for more! After her meal, help Luvabella learn new animal names and sounds with her Lamby toy! If she gets fussy, all she needs is her soother. When it’s time to go to bed after a big day of play, lull her to sleep with her bottle. Get to know all of Luvabella’s real baby surprises!

YTube= https://youtu.be/8CJH5IYD5hY?t=3

luvabella-doll

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