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Qoobo Robotic Cat Tail Pillow

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Qoobo is a robotic pillow with a tail intended to provide a sense of comfort to users.  When caressed, it waves gently. When rubbed, it swings playfully. And, it occasionally wags just to say hello. It’s a comforting communication that warms your heart the way animals do. Begin your “tail therapy” today and wrap yourself with fuzzy love. 

Qoobo(クーボ)は、しっぽのついた クッション型セラピーロボットです。そっと撫でるとふわふわと、たくさん撫でるとぶんぶんと、 そしてときどき気まぐれに、しっぽを振って応えてくれます。 それは、動物のようにあなたを癒やす 言葉のいらないコミュニケーション。しっぽセラピーで、 癒やしのある毎日がはじまります。 

 

 

 

 

 How It Works | 尻尾の動き

Users can interpret Qoobo’s response to their stroking however they like. That makes the users feel as if they were interacting with live animals and provides them with a sense of comfort. Yukai Engineering wanted to use its expertise and experience in robotic engineering to help all people – including those with pet allergies and apartment dwellers who can’t own pets – enjoy the comfort that only animals can give them. We are continuing with our study on the animal’s tail movements to offer users even more realistic experiences. 

なで方によって変化するしっぽの反応を、なでる人自身 が自由に解釈して擬似的な心のやりとりを生み出します。毎日の生活に癒やしを求める人や、ペットを飼いたくても 飼えない人に使っていただきたいと考え、ユカイ工学の持つロボット技術を活用して開発しました。

実際の動物のしっぽの動きを研究し、よりリアルに、そして楽しくコミュニケーションがとれるよう、現在も開発を進めています。

 

 

Design | デザイン

We paid extra attention to its size, weight and texture you would feel comfortable when you are holding it on your lap or in your arms. We plan to offer it in two colors: “HUSKY GRAY” and “FRENCH BROWN.” Because the fur and the tail movements are the only animal-like features of Qoobo, it’s possible for users to imagine it to be a dog or a cat or whatever they want it to be. The fur cover is removable and can be replaced with a customized cover of your own design. The template that we will be releasing lets you design your own print, using a fabric of your choice.   
 
膝に乗せたり、抱き上げたときに心地良い重さ・ サイズ感や、撫でた時の気持ちのいい手触りこだわっています。カラーバリエーションはクールな色合いの「HUSKY GRAY」と、優しい色合いの「FRENCH BROWN」 の2色を予定しています。 あえて尻尾と毛並み以外の動物的な要素を減らすことにより、ユーザーさんそれぞれが自由に想像を膨らませる事が出来ます。Qooboは「犬」のようでもあり、「猫」のようでもある。はたまたそれ以外の動物のようでもあるような、不思議な存在なのです。 ファー部分は取り外しが可能。毛皮部分の型紙の公開も予定しているので、ユーザーさん自身でお好きな布でのカスタマイズも可能に…

What’s Inside? | Qooboの中身は?

Through trial and error, we developed a mechanism that closely mimics the flexible and elegant movements of an animal. We selected different materials for various parts of the robot to enhance the movements and the tail’s appearance. We also made it durable to allow for use in various environments.

まるで生物のようにしなやかに豊かな表現ができるよう、しっぽの構造には、数多くの実験と試作を繰り返してきました。できるだけ自然な動きが再現できるよう、各部分ごとに最適な素材を選択し、しっぽの部分ごとに美しくしなるように調整しています。、 また、いろいろな環境で人と過ごすことを考え、耐久性も考慮されています。

Expert Opinion | 専門家の意見

"Qoobo intrigued me because the shape of the tail and the ways it moves just bring a smile to my face. When you are stressed, I think this could comfort you and heal you. It’s a refreshing concept to have humans and a robot communicate only through tail movements without relying on sounds or facial expressions. As a user, you would project your emotions onto how the tail moves, and you could get a sense of healing from that. I felt it after using the pillow myself."

Prof. Nobuhiro Sakata Dokkyo Medical University

”思わず笑みがこぼれてしまうような形や動きに非常に興味を持ちました。 ストレスを感じた時に見ることで、癒やされる感覚になるのではないでしょうか。 音声や表情をあえて省いて、しっぽの動きだけでコミュニケーションを生み出そうとするコンセプトが面白いと思います。 しっぽの動きによって引き起こされる心理的な変化から、癒やしの効果に繋がる可能性があると感じました。”

獨協医科大学 教授 
坂田 信裕 氏
(専門分野 医療情報学 医学・医療への情報通信技術応用)

What’s Next | 今後の展開

We will be conducting a proof of concept to ensure Qoobo is providing a sense of comfort to its users as intended. We envision the use of Qoobo in senior care and other similar types of facilities.

Qooboと触れ合うことで感じることができる、安心感や癒やしの感覚を、実証実験を通して調査を行っています。今後、高齢者施設などでも「ロボットセラピー」を手軽に取り入れる一つの方法として、Qooboをご提案します。

Media Coverage | メディア掲載

 

 

"By holding and stroking the pillow causes the tail to move and wag. Fun for everyone, the pillow designers believe isolated seniors will have the most to gain. Qoobo should reduce anxiety, depression and loneliness." (by Steve Greenberg gadgetnation.net)

"As a cat owner myself, I was surprised by how realistic the tail moved, especially with how its wagging intensity increased as I petted it harder (my cat would eventually warn me with a bite)." (Engadget)

"膝に乗せたり抱っこすると、ほどよく“子ネコ”感を感じられるサイズ・重量感になっています。よく分からないけど、手元にあると自然となでなでしてしまう魔力がそこにはある……!" (GetNavi web)

"実際にQooboを撫でてみたが、もふもふの感触がとても気持ちいい。しっぽは、やさしく撫でるとゆっくり、すばやく撫でると激しく左右に揺れ、本物の動物を撫でているような感覚を得られた。思わず実家の猫を思い出してしまうほどの再現度だ。" (家電 Watch)

Story Behind the Product | 開発ストーリー

The idea for Qoobo hit us during the Innovation Camp, which Yukai Engineering held in March 2017 as an off-site staff meeting. A group of four engineers and a designer tossed around product ideas and talked about what they had always wanted to buy or develop. One them then said, “I just wish something was waiting for me at home to comfort me after a long day at work.” That was the beginning of Qoobo. Yukai decided to focus on the tail in developing Qoobo because it provides such a sense of comfort without relying on sounds.

2017年の3月、ユカイ工学では開発合宿を開催。その際集まった4名のエンジニアとデザイナーで「実は欲しかったもの」「ずっと作ってみたかったもの」といったアイディアを自由に出し合いました。そんな中出てきた「疲れて家に帰った時、癒やしの存在が家にいてくれたら…」という女性デザイナーの想いをきっかけに、Qooboのプロジェクトがスタート。

犬や猫のように、言葉は必要としなくても優しく癒やしを与えてくれるロボットをつくろうと、動物の「しっぽ」 に着目しQoobo を開発しました。

Specification | 仕様 


Size:
 Width 330 × Height 160 × Depth 540 (mm)
 
Weight: Approximately 1000g 
Power source:  rechargeable battery
Accessory: AC adapter for charging 
Battery holding time: 8h or more

サイズ:幅330× 高さ160× 奥行き540 (mm) 
重量:約1000g 
電源:充電池
付属品:充電用のACアダプタ
電池持ち時間:8h以上

Demonstrates the stress reduction effect of a cushioned therapy robot "Qoobo" with a tail

Robot for healing of new life. We confirm reduction effect with three stress indicators of"tension / anxiety" "depression / depression" "feeling of fatigue / feeling of lethargy"

Yukai Engineering Co., Ltd. (representative: Shunsuke Aoki, head office: Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo), which aims to develop communication robots etc. with the aim of robotics and the world, is 2018 in collaboration with Hakuhodo Co., Ltd. A stress reduction effect verification experiment was conducted using the “Qoobo” (Coobo), a cushioned therapy robot with a tail, which was released in November of the year.

The subjects were 38 people (21 women and 17 men), including collaborators outside the company. In the experiment, we measured the normal state and the state after psychological stress on the three evaluation scales of the subject's current mental state, pulsation, and salivary amylase activity, and "when having Qoobo", "when not having Qoobo" We compared the stress reduction effects brought about by resting conditions.

As a result of the experiment, it was shown that “with Qoobo” has a significant stress reduction effect compared with “when it does not have Qoobo” with regard to the evaluation of the psychological condition of the subjects consisting of 35 questions. TheAlso, among the seven mood scales of the six negative scales and one positive scaleindicated by the mental state assessment, it is particularly high in three of "tension / anxiety", "depression / depression", and "feeling of fatigue / apathy". The mitigation effect has been confirmed.

The present-day stressed society. In particular, the time of a new life with a new environment and a lot of changes in the surroundings is more stressful than usual and tends to make you feel negative. At that time, I think that I can contribute to stress reduction as an existence that gives healing to people's mind like pet therapy by touching Qoobo that shakes his tail and shows a reaction.

With Qoobo

This robot was developed using robotics technology possessed by Yukai Engineering, thinking that it should be used by those who seek healing in daily life and those who can not keep a pet even if they can not keep it.

"Qoobo" is a robot that shakes its tail and responds when it's softly fluffy and fluffy. The response of the tail that changes depending on the habit is interpreted by the bearded person itself to create a simulated heart exchange.

Demonstration of "Qoobo"

<Overview of Research>

The stress reduction effect brought about by the resting state in the case of “having Qoobo” and “when not having Qoobo” was evaluated using a mood profile test (POMS 2) index for 38 subjects.

<Experimental Details>

■ Target

The subjects were 21 females and 17 males (age 26.2 ± 7.8). In consideration of the order effect, randomly distributed to 18 people in A group and 20 people in B group, two experiments were performed for each participant. For the participation in this study, written informed consent was obtained.

■ How

(First experiment)

The subjects were required to spend the preparation period (5 minutes), the task period (10 minutes) and the resting period (5 minutes) in the laboratory, and the POMS 2 (*) examination was performed at the end of each period. In the task phase, two types of stress tasks, mirror drawing task and calculation task, were given to the whole subject.After that, they were given Qoobo to group A and had their rest spent without giving anything to group B.

(2nd experiment)

The presence or absence of Qoobo was replaced by A group and B group, and the same operation as the first experiment was performed.

※ With POMS2

Japanese version of the mood profile test (Profile of Mood States 2nd edition). In this experiment, a shortened version for adults was used. Respond to a 5-point rating of 35 questions including dummy based on the subject's own mood condition.

The scale of evaluation is anger-hostility (AH), confusion-embarrassment (CB), depression-depression (DD), fatigue-lethargy (FI), tension-anxiety (TA), vitality-vitality (VA), friendship (F) The 7 items of) cover a wide range of mood conditions.

■ Analysis

For the test results, 7 items of mood scale and TMD score (Total Mood Disturbance ) were calculated based on POMS 2 index . For the test results of POMS 2 of each participant in the preparation period, task period and resting period, analysis of variance in participants was performed in the first and second experiments. The significance level was 0.1%.

General remarks and results

Confirm stress reduction effect

As a numerical conclusion, in the TMD index that comprehensively indicates negative mood state, negative mood decreased by an average of 6 under the Qoobo condition, but decreased by 2 on the Qoobo no condition. According to the result, "If you take a break while touching Qoobo, you will feel more negative feeling than taking a break without doing anything", and if you have Qoobo, you will have a negative mood reduction effect than without. It was shown to be significantly large, and the stress reduction effect could be confirmed.

■ Detailed analysis

Tension-relief of anxiety

In the indicator of the tension-anxiety condition, TA

The negative mood decreased by an average of 2.1 in the Qoobo-containing condition,whereas it decreased by an average of 0.9 in the non-Qoobo-free condition.

Depression-reducing depression

In the DD index indicating depression-slump status, negative mood decreased by an average of 0.7 in the Qoobo condition, and decreased by an average of 0.1 in the no Qoobo condition.

Fatigue-Alleviation of lethargy

In the indicator FI that represents the state of fatigue-lethargy,

The negative mood decreased by 0.9 on average with the Qoobo condition, but the change amount was 0 without the Qoobo condition.

<Information of the experiment target>

Number of people: 38 people in total 
Age: 18-33 
Sex: 16 men, 21 women 
Occupation: 33 working people, 5 students 
Duration of the experiment: 2018/8/23 to 9/7 
Time zone of the experiment: 14:00 to 20:30

History of Qoobo

In just one week since the announcement in October 2017, the number of video playbacks has surpassed 10 million and achieved 247% (12,360,156 yen) of the target amount in the crowdfunding project . “Qoobo,” which has become a hot topic in many media both at home and abroad, has been in general release in November 2018, with a development period of approximately one year from the announcement.

We started accepting orders from all over the world at the reservation sales site from the end of December 2017, and as of the time of release, the number of reservations and orders from domestic and overseas combined exceeded 5,000 units, and the number of shipments so far exceeds 8,000 units. We are increasing sales. (As of February 2019)

The 2018 GOOD DESIGN Award received many awards including "Good Design Best 100". Even after the release, post with hash tag <#Qoobo> by the purchaser on SNS, and the media and the store also get much response.

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