Study: Qoobo’s ‘Tail Therapy’ Reduces Stress in Users
People feels less anxious and tired when holding of the emotionally responsive robot.
TOKYO (May 3, 2919) – YUKAI Engineering Inc., a Tokyo-based robotics startup known for creating robots that bring joy to life, recently conducted a psychological study to assess how the participants’ use of Qoobo might affect their state of mind. The results showed people experienced meaningful reductions in their stress levels when using Qoobo, compared to when not. Qoobo, a popular Japanese robotic pillow with a lifelike tail that wags in response to the user’s stroking and rubbing, has been available in the U.S. since December 2018.
The psychological assessment involved a group of 38 people, of all genders, in their teens through 30s. Positive mood changes were particularly evident in the participants’ responses to the questions posed to measure their levels of “tension and anxiety,” “depressed feelings” and “tiredness/apathy.”
“Qoobo was designed to comfort people just the way animals do. The test results prove Qoobo is doing the job that it’s supposed to, and we are thrilled about it,” Yukai Engineering CEO Shunsuke Aoki said. “We hope Qoobo will continue to bring joy to those who cannot own pets, including allergy sufferers and apartment dwellers.”
Yukai’s engineers studied various animals and blended their wagging patterns in creating Qoobo, painstakingly crafting the tail mechanism to perform a wide range of lifelike motions that keep users entertained. Communicating solely through tail movements, Qoobo evokes strong feelings among users of affection, love and a comforting animal presence.
Qoobo became one of the most talked-about gadgets on the internet following its unveiling in October 2017, netting more than 10 million online video views. Qoobo was also Amazon Japan’s “Best Selling Communication Robot” during the gift-giving season between Dec. 30, 2018 and Jan. 15, 2019.
Details on the assessment test and results are available in Japanese at https://www.ux-xu.com/news/20190325. The English version is available upon request.
Story Behind Qoobo
The idea for Qoobo came from a YUKAI staff designer who wished to have something waiting for her to come home at the end of a long work day while living in a pet-free apartment. Drawing inspiration from an animal’s tail, YUKAI created a robot that communicates solely through tail movements – without relying on sounds or facial expressions – to comfort humans in just the way cats and dogs would. The company’s engineers studied the animal tail and created a mechanism that closely mimics its movements. Qoobo has been recognized for numerous awards, including the prestigious international Red Dot Design Award (2019) and the “Best 100” in Good Design Award (Japan).
YUKAI Engineering is a robotics startup that develops and sells products that make the world more “yukai” (fun) place to live. YUKAI’s award-winning products include Necomimi, a headband with fake cat ears that move in sync with the user’s brain waves (selected for Time magazine’s “The World’s 50 Best Innovations 2011” list), and BOCCO, a communication robot that keeps family members in touch with each other.