Relaxing in his office at the Mechanical Engineering Lab in Tsukuba, Japan, Takanori Shibata pats a derivative product from his research: a robot cat named Tama. Shibata is a roboticist who studied with MIT robot guru Rodney Brooks before heading his own lab. Omron, a Japanese engineering company, applied Shibata's discoveries to produce Tama, a mechanical pet with sensors beneath its fur that react to sound and touch. Omron says it has no plans as of yet to commercialize its robot cats. From the book Robo sapiens: Evolution of a New Species, page 227.