The Japanese have long been at the forefront of the development of human-like robots. The country's Prime Minister has even publicly announced his interest in hosting a so-called "Robot Olympics" alongside the actual human competitions when Tokyo hosts the 2020 Summer Games. So we shouldn't be all that surprised that they've also made advances in the realm of eerily realistic robotic pets, namely the Yume Neko Dream Cat Celeb, which despite its technological prowess, is pretty much the stuff of nightmares.
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Initially built to serve as companions for the elderly and those whose homes don't allow pets, the newly enhanced, interactive, white fluffy faux felines mimic all the most recognizable behaviors of a real cat. Thanks to sensors in the face and on the body, stroking it will elicit purrs and "happy" reactions; the mouth and ears move in reaction to touch, and its eyes blink and tail wags are uncanny. And just like the real deal, it can be quite fussy, snarling if you happen to catch it off guard.
Joe McGauley is a senior editor at Supercompressor. He and cats have never really gotten along.