If it weren't for the blank-stare faces on these things, we would have assumed they were just your average stress reliever. But, that's not the case at all. After all, those are faces, which means they've got to do something else, right? The Kokonatchi is being designed by students at the University of Tokyo and Waseda University, and it's sole purpose is to be a small desktop notification robot that lets you know when a new message hits your Twitter feed.
It's simple: you connect Kokonatchi to a USB port, and the RGB LEDs inside of it will take care of the rest. Depending on the style of the tweet, Kokonatchi will change colors. Oh, and did we mention that it will vibrate as well? And, apparently because it does look like a stress reliever, you'll actually be able to massage the little robot, too, which will allow you to directly reply to the original sender. And if you want to record some words for the little guy to say, you can do that too. It will hold 20 words at the start, like "hello," but you can put a microSD card somewhere in there and expand that up to 1,000 words.
According to the Project Manager at Osaka University, Hiroshi Ishiguro, the Kokonatchi is designed to be like the Tamagotchi of yester-year. Cute enough for anyone to have on their desk, and perfectly capable of distracting you from your actual work, all day long. Right now, the designers intend to start selling the little 'bots some time this Fall, and will cost about 4,000 yen, or $45 for those of us local purchasers. What do you think? Want a Kokonatchi on your desk?
[via Plastic Pals]