When I was in my teens I desperately wanted a pet, but my parents wouldn’t allow it, so they got me the next best thing: yes, a Tamagotchi.
I loved it. It was my best friend for a while and I was feeling very attached to it. But then its constant demand for attention started driving me crazy, all these bleeps and bloops as it called out for food and petting made me hate it at times, but also deepened my relationship with it. Anyway. Soon enough, I outgrew it, stopped looking after it, and it died.
Do I still miss it, though? Yes, I do and I think I’ve found the best replacement for it — because now I’m an adult and I need something more advanced.
Meet the Eilik, this ultra-cute little bot that promises to be my next tabletop companion!
Eilik isn’t a super-smart robot, but it has an emotive personality, and is designed to interact you with you like a friend.
Its creators at Energize Lab have equipped it with four emotional states: normal, happy, angry, and sad. Eilik uses dynamic animations, a speaker, a vibration motor, and a 25-fps OLED screen to express himself vividly.
He has a whole set of expressions like laughing, yelling, crying, (my favorite) cursing, and being depressed, speechless, or disappointed.
He responds to touch
Eilik has touch sensors all over his body. He feels happy when you touch his head, laughs when you tickle his belly, and feels shy when you rub his bottom.
He doesn’t like vibrations
If you hit his head, he’ll get dizzy and if you hit the table, he’ll get scared. You need to tap him gently on the head to calm him down.
He’s afraid of heights
Eilik feels insecure when he’s held off the ground. He’ll start to cry and get annoyed, until you hold him tight in your hands.
He loves to play with his peers
Yes, Eilik is a social bot and loves hanging out with his fellow Eiliks. So cute!
He wants to be your assistant
Okay, Eilik won’t do your chores or write up emails for you, but he can act as an alarm clock, a stopwatch, or a Pomodoro timer. Plus, you can connect it with your PC to get future updates like extra functions, more expressions, and better plot content.
And here’s what he looks like on the inside:
Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m totally sold. I’m already imagining an Eilik on my desk doing stupid expressions, while I’m trying to focus on work. Yes, my desk definitely needs some personality.
Only one question remains: when can I have it? Having secured the necessary funding via a Kickstarter campaign, Energizer Lab will begin mass production in February 2022, and start global deliveries in April. And with a $109 price tag, this is what I consider value for money. Here’s hoping the company delivers on its crowdfunding campaign promises.