The IFA is an opportunity for certain countries to assert their presence in technological fields. If France is regularly represented by the famous French Tech and its pethora of innovations, the Berlin show is an opportunity for South Korea to carry out some demonstrations of its know-how. In this area, there are tools for dental care, advanced programs for analyzing videos for autonomous driving, a “wringer” for pets (we’ll come back to this) or a pet robot. The latter is called Maicat.
On paper, Maicat has something to seduce. The feline-like robot promises to be a more evolved version of Sony’s Aibo robot (which looked like a dog) with a few more joints and a “brain” stuffed with artificial intelligence to learn from its environment, adapt and interact with the people he meets. For this, Maicat has numerous sensors (pressure, touch), cameras, lasers to determine distances with objects, a microphone and a loudspeaker to communicate.
In the presentation video, Maicat wakes up, stretches, moves and meows like… a tomcat. But the comparisons with a worthy representative of the feline family end there. The gait is clumsy, jerky, a thousand miles from the agility and lightness of a cat. The meows are more like a rattle, and the blinking eyes complete the strangeness of the whole. Note that the children present at the show had no apprehension vis-à-vis Maicat and were quick to come and pet him. If however you intended to “adopt” Maicat, it will cost you $1500.