A Chinese company Elephant Robotics, which produces industrial or scientific research robots, has launched MarsCat, a standalone robotic cat that can serve as a domestic companion or can also be an ideal choice for education, research, and commerce.
The bionic feline is available in gray, brown, black, or white, has six touch sensors in various parts of the body. It is equipped with a 5-megapixel camera to “see” and a control unit based on the Raspberry Pi 3 microcomputer. Sixteen servomotors (3 on each paw, two on the head and two on the tail) are responsible for the movement, commanded by a Raspberry Pi. It offers a range of two to three hours in constant interaction scenarios or up to five hours with one use.
The MarsCat is preprogrammed with a variety of behaviors such as stretching, sitting, sleeping, and rolling, and thanks to an open software development kit (SDK), users can develop their own apps to the cat. It will also have the ability to recognize up to 20 words and can be programmed at ease, according to the company.
Interested users can support the project with $649 to secure a unit through Kickstarter. Delivery is scheduled for March 2020. This price is available to the first 100 supporters, with the price rising to the remaining. The MarsCat is expected to hit the market by the end of 2020, with a price tag of around $1299.