The Bocco Emo is a smart, playful way to keep in touch with your family

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The Bocco Emo has a funny name that might remind you more of your moody teen years, but there’s actually a sneakily useful device behind its cute, simple design. It’s a communication robot that relays voice and text messages to keep in touch with family members who don’t have phones, and it connects via Bluetooth to toy block-like sensors that can monitor temperature, motion, and home activity.

The “Emo” part of its name comes from the robot’s ability to “express empathy,” as its makers describe it. When reacting to positive messages, its cheeks glow green, and it nods enthusiastically with happy chirping sounds. For negative messages containing words like “tired,” its cheeks light up red, and it’ll put its head down and make a sad…

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