Where is the best place to find a robot cat? The library, of course

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Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/ZDNET

You know that feeling you get when something is done thing. thing And you had no idea?

Well, that’s how I felt when I discovered that everyone — apparently — He was saying “Delulu(This, it seems, indicates an unrealistic solution to all of life’s problems.)

Also: 15 of the best robots and AI tech we saw at CES 2024

Today, though, I’d like to introduce you to something new — to me: the robot cat in the library.

When a robber is by your side

I first saw it when I saw the bandits, Percival and Mr. ritual

Surprisingly, this is not a firm of lawyers, nor even a comedy act of the last century.

Instead, these are three robot cats who live at the Eugene Public Library in Eugene, Oregon.

And they have become extremely popular robot cats.

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As Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB). ReportLibrary patrons engage in adoration with these three black-and-white robot felines.

Kate Berry, an adult services supervisor at the library, told OPB: “They’re usually for people who might be suffering from memory loss or maybe just living alone and kind of lonely. But really, anyone can check them out.” They meow. . They’re really funny.”

What is clear, though, is that the robot cats have not only impressed the library’s visitors, but its staff as well.

They were so inspired by the way these robot cats brought peace to so many that they bought a couple for themselves. (They are grey-white.)

Children’s services supervisor Heather Sears told OPB: “Studies have shown that cats purring is therapeutic. So we have a kind of quiet room where we put one of our cats. The staff really enjoyed it — maybe you had a stressful part of your day or something. happened and you just need a moment, and you can hang out here with one of our cats that’s not preaching.”

Please imagine, then, that some people would enter the library and simply hang out with the likes of bandits. They may even brush him off and generally interact with him as if he were real.

Many even book the robot cat, as it were, a book and take it home.

It’s a thing. a real thing

I admit it boosted my spirits a lot.

You see, my wife and I were a robot cat for a while, and as regular readers know, the experience was a touch imperfect.

Unable to find suitable takers, we take it to the local electronics recycling center, where the owner looks at us with mild amusement. Before adopting the cat, of course.

Also: Can AI Manage Loneliness in Older Adults? This robot companion proves it’s possible

In contrast, it was interesting to discover that there are so many people, finding robot cats to be wonderful companions.

But wait a minute, I thought to myself, is this an isolated inspiration from the Eugene library or could it be a wider phenomenon?

It was time for a little research.

Everywhere you can find a good book

Here is the Manistee County Library in Michigan A realistic array of robotic pets. Cats, dogs and even a bird.

Interim Library Director Julie Cirone, to say Manistee News Advocate: “They have lifelike features with a realistic weight, they’re responsive to touch, they vibrate and have heartbeats, and they’re warm because they sit on your lap.”

Let’s get it flowing now Hastings Public LibraryAlso in Michigan. There, just below the botley is the coding robot: “Robotic cat. Coming January 2024.”

Now you’re wondering what the rules are for visiting your local public library and taking a robot cat home with you.

Also: Boston Dynamics robot dogs can now answer your questions, thanks to ChatGPT

Helpfully, Reading Public Library, Massachusetts offers some guidance.

The library explains what you can expect from its robot cat: “When you pet his head or back he squeals happily. He moves his head toward your hand when you pet his cheek, and if you pet him, he’ll roll onto his back so you can pet his belly!”

That sounds quite realistic. The library, however, extends its own form of realism: “The total cost to replace the robotic cat is $150. A $5.00 daily fee applies if items are returned late. This item is available for checkout to patrons 18 or older.”

Be warned. You can’t easily keep them forever, like that copy of “Pride and Prejudice” you forgot to return in 2016.

It seems, then, that America’s libraries have become home to robot cats. They bring peace and companionship to many. And that’s a good thing.

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