Yukai Engineering is a Japanese company that makes a range of "communication robots", machines designed to connect individuals to others, or to their own emotions. Qoobo is a headless, cat-like robotic pillow that responds to simple touches, specifically created to soothe and comfort the owner. The rechargeable pet reacts only to touch, and provides only the simple feedback of wagging its tail. Kind of like a Tamagotchi, but brought into physical form.
In their research they studied the stress levels of 38 subjects, and determined that the subjects exhibited reduced stress "when you have Qoobo" compared to "when you don't have Qoobo." I can imagine a daily commute while being in a state of "having Qoobo" could help reduce road rage incidents, but sadly Qoobo is not recommended for use in cars.
Their product line includes Coconatch, a social robot, and Bocco, a communications robot, and the brilliant Necomimi, a headband with cat ears on it that move through brain waves. And if you want to work on building your own robotic environment they have a variety of development kits available also.
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