To make Flatcat more endearing so people will actually want to touch and interact with it, its creators at a Berlin-based robotics startup called Jetpack Cognition Lab have wrapped it in soft, fluffy fur so that it looks more like a cat—or at least a cat that somehow survived repeated run-ins with a semi-truck. In reality, Flatcat is more like like a ThiccFurrySnake, or maybe a FlattenedCaterpillar. Calling it a cat is certainly a stretch.


Until robots are adept at cooking dinner and serving drinks, consumer adoption of automatons is going to remain limited to robovacs and robopets in the near future. But even Sony has had a hard time convincing people to drop more than $1,700 (plus monthly fees to unlock all its features) on the adorable robot dog Aibo it brought back from the dead in 2017. There’s no word on if Flatcat will ever be made available to consumers, though the company will happily collect your email address on its site to keep you in the loop. At least Aibo looks like something you’d actually want to pet, not a creature you’d immediately dispose of with a rolled up magazine.