The Kokonatchi continues the Japanese tradition of odd toys that you take care of. Essentially a small desktop USB robot that lights up and wiggles when you receive new tweets, the Kokonatchi is the brainchild of students from the University of Tokyo and Waseda University.
The robot will attempt to understand the context of each tweet received. It will light up in different colors to reflect different emotions, and will even shudder in fear if it thinks the tweeter is frightened. Project manager Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University likens the Kokonatchi to the classic Tamagotchi, and claims the robot was designed to be "cute" to appeal to a wide demographic.
There are plans to release the Kokonatchi under the Yukai Engineering brand. The prototype will actually retail—with the buyer serving as a guinea pig of sorts—for around $70. If all things work out, the first production run of 1000 will sell for $45.