On July 29, Vanguard Industries began accepting pre-orders for the AI pet “MOFLIN” on the crowdfunding website “Kickstarter.” MOFLIN is a pet robot that is equipped with a proprietary AI technology that utilizes genetic algorithms.
MOFLIN is a novel kind of AI pet developed using an approach that seeks to replicate real animals, and is capable of developing emotions. It is unique in that it reacts to its surroundings and expresses emotions through adorable movements and cries in a manner reminiscent of living creatures. At the size of a rabbit or guinea pig, MOFLIN is covered with fluffy fur and has an adorable cry.
Although it can shake its body slightly to express its emotions, it has no limbs and neither moves around nor moves other objects. The body of MOFLIN concealed by its fur contains tactile sensors, a microphone, gyro/acceleration sensors, and lighting sensors. These components enable MOFLIN to vary its emotions according to the surrounding environment, which eventually allows it to develop its own unique personality through repeated cycles of learning. Its personality is formed through interactions with its owner, and the emotional bond between MOFLIN and its owner will deepen as time goes by as with a real pet.
The product comes with a wireless charger that looks like a birdhouse, and MOFLIN can be charged by simply placing it in the charger. When it is charging, you can still enjoy MOFLIN’s adorable sounds and reactions as if it were a sleeping animal.
MOFLIN was first unveiled at the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, in November 2019. Mass production began after the company received an encouraging response at overseas events. This Kickstarter campaign was launched as a means of accepting pre-orders for MOFLIN’s conceptual model. The product will be shipped to backers of this campaign starting from March 2021.