Last week Hasbro announced the release of Joy For All, a new series of companion pets meant for elder care. The robotic cats have built-in sensors that respond to motion and touch with purrs or meows or movements meant to simulate the experience of having a real cat without the burden of having to feed it or clean up after it.
Hasbro sent a Joy For All (the orange tabby cat) to the Adweek office and we decided to see what our staff thought and test how comforting these cats could be. Of course, what the older target demographic thinks of the cat remains yet to be seen—we couldn’t get our grandparents to come to the Adweek office.
As for companion pets, this isn’t a new concept. Earlier this month anyone that consumed Netflix’s Master of None got to see Eric Wareheim and Aziz Ansari interact with Paro, a theraputic robotic seal. But Paro’s price point is much higher than Hasbro’s (a Joy For All cat costs just $99.99 to Paro’s $5000) and that’s part of Hasbro’s mission with Joy For All.
“This is a new demographic, a new age category for us and we think inspiring joy should be something people can attain” said Ted Fischer, vp of business development for Hasbro. “[We created this new line after] we had gotten some reviews for our FurReal Friends line, that mom was not just buying it for her daugther but for her aging loved one that could no longer have a pet or was lonely and wanted to have those interactions.”
Take a look at the video above for our reactions to Grandma’s possible new companion and below is Hasbro’s promo for the cat.