At a virtual CES, there’s still surprises around every virtual corner and for me, one surprise was Moflin, a cute AI powered robot pet.

To start with, Moflin is AI pet robot with “emotional capabilities” which evolve like living animals. The robot is covered in warm soft fur, makes cute sounds, and adorable movement. All in all, it reminds me of a Tribble.

Now, judging from a quick survey of the EFTM writers room I need to do a bit of explaining. A tribble is a cute, furry alien written for Star Trek: TOS, which rapidly reproduces, eventually threatening the safety Enterprise. It was a throw-away ‘villian of the week’ but it’s had a lasting impact on Star Trek fans, and now, with Moflin you can almost have one.

The ’emotional’ capabilities of the Moflin are mapped out through an algorithm and change based on feedback from on-board sensors taking in information on its surrounds.

When your Moflin is in need of a rest, there’s a wireless charging basket for your AI pet. The robot will even continue to move, and make sounds as it sleeps recharges, just like a real animal.

The Moflin doesn’t have the rapid reproduction problem that Tribbles did, though with a price tag of ¥41,800 (just over $500AUD) on their Kickstarter, you may wish they did. Moflin will start heading out to their new owners in June this year, and you could have one if you want to back their project.