Spooky robot cat from Japan won't scratch your eyes out

Sony may have discontinued its robot dog Aibo, but that has scarcely diminished Japan's love for strange mechanized pets. The latest addition to the automaton menagerie is the Yume Neko Smile (Dream Cat Smile) from Sega Toys. Although the cat's dead eyes wrapped in tufts of simulated fur would scare most U.S. kiddies, there is technology hiding in the device that will likely appeal to our more robo-savvy friends in Japan.

Yume Neko Smile has five sensors strategically placed in its body that allow it to respond positively or negatively to various tactile input: petting its head will elicit purring and other amorous behavior, stroking its back prompts it to mimic feline sleepiness, and pulling its tail will result in squeals of haunting robocat pain. There's even a model dubbed the White American Short Hair, for those robot fans concerned with pedigree. Yume Neko Smile is available for 8,379 yen (roughly $74 U.S.). Do robot cats dream of electric catnip? Judge for yourself by taking a look at the robot cat in action in this video.

Via Sega Toys