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Panasonic to launch pet robot in pivot away from home appliances

'Nicobo' to keep more users company after successful crowdfunding campaign

Originally released through a crowdfunding campaign in 2021, the Nicobo is a stationary robot designed to keep its owners company. (Photo courtesy of Panasonic)

OSAKA -- Cute and cuddly are not words that come to mind when Panasonic is mentioned, but the company plans to roll out as early as the spring a pet-like robot test-marketed last year as it moves beyond its traditional appliance business.

The robot, named Nicobo, is roughly 20-centimeters wide and can wag its tail or change expressions in response to human interaction. It will imitate sounds when spoken to, but cannot hold actual conversations or move. The device will be marketed mainly toward those living alone or the elderly looking for more companionship.

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