Photo credit: PANASONIC

Panasonic to begin production of crowdfunded farting robot

Titled NICOBO, the robot does nothing but mumble, sulk and occasionally fart.

Jeremy Na

Just like that Khalid song, Young, dumb and broke. Ok maybe not dumb but definitely the other two.

Published: 19 March 2021, 6:14 PM

Some people want a robot that can do their chores, while others want one that can help improve their quality of life.

For me? I just want Nicobo, an immobile sulking robot that mumbles at you and occasionally farts when it feels like it.

What initially started as a crowdfunding project from tech giant Panasonic, has now turned into reality as Panasonic has shifted into production mode for this cuddly little robot.

Looking more like a cute stuffed sock, the robot strangely reminds me of a cat in terms of its behaviour as it doesn’t really do much other than wag its tail, turn around, blink its eyes, and talk a bit. 

Maybe it’s the fact that it also farts whenever it wants, but my inner primary school child finds it absolutely hilarious and I’m tempted to get my own Nicobo.

But hidden behind its rather unassuming exterior lies a much more complex interior.

Armed with built-in microphones and cameras, Nicobo can recognize your face and voice as well as turn towards you. Utilising touch sensors, it also knows when you’re petting it or hugging it.

But above all, one question remains: Why?

Project Leader Yoichiro Masuda gave a rather philosophical answer, and questioned if Panasonic can create a project aimed at its consumer’s hearts instead.

“What about people’s hearts? I wonder if the speed of information and development of communication tools have made human relationships more diverse, at the cost of losing a bit of space in our minds,” he asked.

Rather deep for a farting robot, but I’m not complaining.

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