The Moflin is a Tribble-like AI Pet with Emotional Capabilities

What you’re looking at is an artificial intelligence-driven furry electronic pet that can express its own emotions via movement and sound. The Moflin’s AI allows its emotions to constantly change based on its environment – much like a real pet’s, except you’ll save a small fortune on pet food. Originally launched as a Kickstarter project, the campaign was a success, and Moflins will be available later this year for around $400. Still, no word if they’ll breed as quickly as Tribbles.

A Moflin constantly scans its surroundings with its sensors and uses its own interactions to determine patterns and respond accordingly, with “an infinite number of movement and sound combinations” available to express its feelings. Not bad. For reference, I’m only capable of grunting and shaking my head no.

Pretty cool, but if they really wanted to sell these things they should have scored the Star Wars licensing rights and made them look like Baby Yoda. You wouldn’t be able to keep them on store shelves! They’d be this year and every year’s must-have Christmas gift. Wait – did I just come up with a multi-million dollar idea? We need The Mandalorian’s blessing, STAT. Somebody call him, tell him The Child is in trouble.

[via BoingBoing]

A Robotic Trombone Machine: For the Marching Band of the Future

Since “just because you can” is as good a reason as any to do something these days, the engineers at iSax Laboratories took it upon themselves to try building a MIDI-controlled robotic trombone. The result? Well, the result is what you’ll hear below, which is by no means the best trombone playing I’ve ever heard. Although it’s not the worst either (I’m talking about my nephew).

According to its makers, a trombone’s unique tones are a result of “a combination of lip tension, pressure against the mouthpiece, airflow, air pressure, resonance in the mouth, and probably some other variables” that they were unable to successfully replicate with the robot, leaving them with “an over-engineered noise machine.” Hey – my wife calls me the same thing sometimes!

So we may never find out what a trombone duet with Toyota’s trumpet-playing humanoid robot would sound like. But you know what? I’m okay with that. After all, some things are better left unheard. Or at least that’s what my wife tells me when reminding me to close the bathroom door and play some loud music on my phone.

[via Laughing Squid]

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