MarsCat: The bionic and programmable pet in crowdfunding

A cat that does not cause allergies and does not throw glasses from the table: that is what many people wish for. The MarsCat robot cat from Elephant Robotics is said to be the first bionic pet that can be programmed or even educated in a personalized way!

MarsCat Kickstarter Campaign

Really lifelike?

Of course you can see immediately that it is not a real cat, but according to the manufacturer it should behave like one! No matter if she plays with toys, sleeps in her basket or meows, she should be able to imitate all “functions” and behaviour patterns of a normal cat. She should even react to voice commands. But whether she decides to follow them, she decides by chance, like a normal cat. 😄

Technical implementation

The whole thing is controlled by the 4 main sensors, which are responsible for hearing (microphones), feeling (touch sensors) and seeing (cameras and distance sensor). The collected data is then converted by the integrated AI. Thus it should be self-learning and adapt to the owner. But it can also be programmed by the owner via the integrated Raspberry Pi. This way it meets your own requirements from the very beginning.

This little companion should also have limited object recognition. The cat recognizes its enclosed toys and its own bed and interacts with them accordingly.

The movements of the MarsCat robotic cat are controlled by 16 servo motors, but of course it doesn’t move even remotely as naturally as a real cat. It emits its meow and purr sounds through a loudspeaker on its head. Interesting is that you can adjust the representation on the eyes. The 20 LEDs in the eyes can blink, display different eye colors or even self-selected pictures, which you just have to upload as .png or .jpg.

At first glance, the battery life of 2 hours in “Active Motion” and 5 hours in “Regular Motion” seems to be rather low, but you have to put this into perspective. The MarsCat is certainly also aimed at people who work all day and have no time to take care of a real cat. So if you come home after work, 2-5 hours are quite sufficient to deal with the robot cat. When it is empty, it can be charged within 3 hours via USB-C ( 5 V / 3 A ).

Our assessment of the mechanical four-legged friend

With a price of $699 the MarsCat is by no means cheap, but real cats from a professional breeder often cost much more. The Kickstarter project has now far exceeded the set target and the cat robots are to be shipped from May.

Even though it is not a classic China gadget, we found MarsCat very interesting. Especially in the Asian area such robot companions are becoming more and more popular. But if something like this will become popular in our country, we can’t estimate very well. Would you buy a robot cat or something similar? Or have you already made experiences with such robots? Share your opinions and experiences with us!

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Jens

After joining the team in late 2015 I quickly fell in love with aerial photography. Today I review most of our drones. I'm also interested in gaming related gadgets.

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