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Author Topic: Joy For All Companion Review  (Read 367 times)

aibo7m3

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Joy For All Companion Review
« on: February 06, 2016, 02:32:52 PM »

Hey everyone! I purchased a Joy For All companion cat from Amazon and am writing a review on it. Aside from the shedding fur which is horrible, I like this robot. If Hasbro were to reskin it with something that didn't shed and make a few software tweaks, then put it up for market again, I think it would be a much better product.

Pros:
-Purrs when you pet it and you are able to feel the purr when holding the cat.
-Fur is much softer than on Furreal Friends.
-Has four touch sensors and a light sensor (light sensor is used as a motion sensor because a change in the lighting means something is moving in front of the sensor).
-I like how this robot focuses on calming sounds like purrs, occasional meows and sighs instead of the yowls or harsh and frequent meows of some other Hasbro cats.
-Legs that do not have motors in them (all but one), are moveable manually so that you can change the cat's position to a degree.
-Battery case is well hidden, but still easily accessible.
-Will start meowing to catch your attention if you don't pet it for a few minutes and go to sleep a couple minutes later if you still leave it alone.
-It's nice to just leave it on sitting by my computer while I'm working or browsing without it bothering me with constant noise.
-Has a mute button in case you find the repetitive noises it makes annoying. Mute button is a little strange though since the cat still occasionally purrs when muted but does not make any other sound.
-No annoying twist ties holding it into the box!

Cons:
-The shedding is a nightmare. If you pet it daily, that pretty long coat may not last long. And you'll be covered in fake cat hair constantly. I think I just breathed in fake cat hair while writing this.
-Very limited AI, probably has only around 10 distinct sounds that it makes and five distinct movements.
-One of the sighs it makes sounds creepily human and I think should be rerecorded. Sounds for robots can be easily recorded by a human without having them sound exactly like a person.
-Needs more padding to be more cuddly, feels too robotic.
-There is visible glue along seams on the inside and the fur just seems to weakly glued to the robot with poorly cut seams visible in some areas.
-The purring can get annoying when the cat carries on purring for 5+ minutes at a time which happens occasionally.
-The robot has batteries included, but they're left inside the robot. Hasbro has had issues with this before with their old stock of other similar robots being ruined because the batteries got corroded and damaged the robot beyond repair. If they actually listened to their customers, they would have packaged the batteries separately.
-If this robot were actually to be used in a nursing home setting, it would need removable fur that could be washed which this does not have. The shed hair is also easy to breath in by accident.


Is this just a refurred LuLu my Cuddlin Kitty?
-This cat seems to purr for much longer periods and move its paw less often than LuLu compared the videos that I've seen of this product. It also seems that LuLu's default response to most things is meowing and purring is a secondary response while this cat almost solely purrs and really only meows to get your attention. I believe the mechanical components are exactly the same, so any differences would be in the programming. My guess is that the software is a slightly tweaked version of LuLu's.


Would I recommend this?
-If you know someone who would like a robotic cat that they can cuddle with, but that isn't too advanced or active, then this might work. However, this person also has to be used to shedding animals enough that a shedding robot doesn't bother them.

Overall opinion:
-Aside from the shedding, it's not a bad product. I would much prefer to pay around $50 for it than the $100 price tag which I feel is too steep for what this robot is, but this does already have shipping factored into it, so that's something to take into consideration.

Will I be keeping this product?
-I'm going to give it a few days for the shedding to die down, but if that doesn't happen, I may have to opt for a return.

Some people on Amazon have complained about the motors being very loud, but they are actually quieter than a Pleo's motors, so this doesn't really bother me (only loud motor is one used to control the paw/torso).

Here are some pictures of the box and robot itself:

Edit:
Here's a video. It's hard to capture this robot in a short video though since while it does more actions and sounds than are featured here, it's something that isn't meant to do much or move around a lot, so seeing each action and noise can take an hour or so of use.
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RT_7pJZwP5M" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RT_7pJZwP5M</a>
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RT_7pJZwP5M&feature=youtu.be
« Last Edit: February 06, 2016, 05:37:17 PM by aibo7m3 »
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scaledandtailed

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Re: Joy For All Companion Review
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2016, 04:09:39 PM »


 Thatís a very good review
 I had heard lots of good  things about this  and to be honest what you showed wasnít quite what I had in mind   as  something resembling  an alternative  to a companion animal  for elderly and disabled adults.
 . I have to say from watching the video it sounds absolutely hideous to me. Iíd be embarrassed to present that to an elderly person. 
 
 
 Admittedly I only get the audio, the constant purring is annoying but forgivable, but I know just what you mean about the   human sounding sighs. They are just dam right creepy.
    Not too sure  if their spot on with  their target audience  unless they are going on the premise  that their  audience  though disabled and  or elderly  but still  adult has  the same cognition   as a very young  child. One good thing about it is itís not too active but the sounds it makes are embarrassingly juvenile like a babyís toy if you know what I mean.   Itís good that it doesnít screech but   surely they could have had a more realistic sounding meow? I mean this thing doesnít so much as meows as   says meow in a rather curiously human like imitation of a cat. Which takes away from any realism far more than the noise that the motors ever could.     
 If I was  an elderly person I would feel kind of insulted  that  they would think this would portray  to me a realistic companion animal replacement as it sounds so much more  like a toy aimned at a very young child.
 Just mi thoughts on it though.
    again  good revew.
 
   
 
     

 
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aibo7m3

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Re: Joy For All Companion Review
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2016, 04:24:19 PM »

I've read a lot of success stories about interactions between this robot and elderly adults with dementia, but I think a lot of the residents at the nursing home I volunteer at would simply find this creepy. Rerecording the sounds would definitely be a step forward, it seems like the sounds used are the same as in the LuLu My Cuddlin Kitty which is a kid's toy, but they just changed the frequency of purrs versus meows etc. (I suppose the story of the actual cat that I met in Paris that really did sound like it was saying the word "meow" in a human's voice is a tale for a different time.) I think this robot really is aimed at elderly patients with advanced dementia more than anything else, and yes, I probably would recommend it for that audience having watched my own grandmother's dementia progress and the joy she got from having plush toy animals as company, but I really think some simple improvements could really expand this audience.
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scaledandtailed

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Re: Joy For All Companion Review
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2016, 06:01:19 PM »

 I was under the impression that it was more as a general aid as a companion animal replacement but if itís specifically designed for people with advanced dementia I can see where it could work very well. Though like you I still think the sounds could be improved and I think it could benefit if they where a little more realistic.
 Also it seems kind of like they did it on the cheep a little. It sounds like    theyíve just done the bare minimum to make it different from` lulu.  I get that it shouldnít be so sophisticated or complex that itís likely to break easily if mishandled but and I donít know much about lulu at all but Iím guessing that lulu doesnít have shedding fir and obviously glued seems because if it did surely it wouldnít pass US or EU toy safety standards though I could be totally wrong.
 I would think though that more care should have been taken to make sure that the fir couldnít be inhaled.
 Like you say it could have done with more padding and possibly a top lair that can be removed for washing.  The latter might cost a bit to produce but   the other improvements could probably be done with out much cost at all but would make a good improvement.
   Incidentally did you end up keeping it in the end?
 
 
           
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aibo7m3

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Re: Joy For All Companion Review
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2016, 06:47:25 PM »

It's marketed very vaguely as a companion for "the elderly and disabled adults," but that's just Hasbro's catch-all term for them not really knowing or caring about their audience aside from the fact that it's not children. The vague marketing may frame it as a replacement pet for people who can't own pets, but it doesn't come close to achieving that goal. The cat has pretty good reviews on Amazon and seems like a large of the people buying it and being satisfied with it are doing so for family members with advanced dementia or other similar conditions. I don't know about the LuLu robot since I've never actually owned one, but it looks very similarly made to this one, only real differences seem to be that it's refurred and has had changes made in the which sounds it uses most often (LuLu doesn't have the 5+ minute purring sessions) and what stimuli trigger what sounds.

Yes, I did end up keeping the robot and still have it. It's only been used a few times since I wrote the review and I still have all of the packaging materials so that I should be able to resell it for close to what I paid someday. It doesn't shed as badly as it did when I got it, but I'll still end up with pieces of fake cat hair on my hand if I sit and pet it for a couple minutes. I admire that an attempt was made, but think that Hasbro really needs to step up its game before releasing something like this. We really don't have many robots in this category aside from Paro which is outside of most everyone's budgets at $6000, so it would really be nice if there were some sort of middle ground.
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scaledandtailed

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Re: Joy For All Companion Review
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2016, 01:55:08 PM »

  Thatís a good point, $3000 isnítí exactly  in reach for most people  and it would be nice  to see something in the affordable range that isnít just a super up kids toy.
   Glad the hair shedding  has settled down  though I guess thatís one thing that is fairly realistic, just a shame itís not the one   people usually look  for  in  any pet  real  or not lol.
   
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Piggy

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Re: Joy For All Companion Review
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2017, 03:50:55 AM »

I do volonteer work with the elderly who suffer from Alzheimer's and dementia and I ordered one of these from Hasbro . I want to use it in my volunteer work .... does the fur coat still sheds that much after a while ? Maybe I need to brush it thoroughly when the cat arrives  :D I really enjoyed your videos on YouTube . It gives me a idea what to expect when it arrives .
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aibo7m3

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Re: Joy For All Companion Review
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2017, 05:57:16 AM »

The coat still sheds, but not nearly as heavily as it did when the cat was new! If you pet it roughly, some fur will come off on your hand, but it shouldn't by now if you're just brushing it gently. I would suggest giving yours a good brushing when it arrives to get all the loose fur out!
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Piggy

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Re: Joy For All Companion Review
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2017, 06:37:06 AM »

Thank you Aibo I will certainly do that  ;) I hope they put the cat on off otherwise the mailman arrives with a meowing box  :rofl:

I remember when I got my fur real cat lulu many years ago it was on try me mode and the cat kept on meowing all the way home . I still have her but the fur had its best time . She has been petted and hugged a lot by the elderly who I volunteer with. also the ears and head don't move anymore . Lulu deserves her pension .

I hope the new one has softer fur .
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aibo7m3

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Re: Joy For All Companion Review
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2017, 07:04:58 AM »

Joy for Alls are shipped with batteries in them, but the switch is left in the off position! (Joy for Alls actually don't have a "Try Me" option! The switch options are "On," "Off," and "Mute.") I also have two LuLus and the fur on the Joy for All is much softer than that on the LuLu! One of my LuLus had fur that was in pretty bad shape too, so I actually removed the skin from that one and am planning on using it for a customization project.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2017, 10:20:55 AM by aibo7m3 »
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Piggy

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Re: Joy For All Companion Review
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2017, 02:42:04 PM »

Fantastic to read that the fur is a lot softer ;) and a great idea on removing the skin of a old lulu and giving her a new fur skin  :D I am creative but sadly not with a sewing machine  ;D I think I will donate my  old Lulu to a old lady that is missing her cat very much. She is not allowed to have a cat anymore.... so I my old Lulu will be perfect for her. Hopefully Hasbro will sell them in the future in Europe. I think a lot of people elderly or if you are allergic to cats, can benefit from this  ;)
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Re: Joy For All Companion Review
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2017, 12:46:59 AM »

The Joy for all cat arrived yesterday  :D I brushed the fur coat really well so it doesn't shed that much anymore. The fur coat is really soft. I know the elderly will enjoy him very much  ;).
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