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Real-World M3GANS: 5 Robotic Friends You Can Make (Buy) Right Now

These robotic friends are unlikely to get any blockbuster horror movies made about them.

By Cassidy Ward

The Model 3 Generative Android, aka M3GAN (now streaming on Peacock), is the latest in a long line of fictional killer robots, but she was intended to be the ultimate human companion. When 8-year-old Cady’s parents were killed in a car accident and her world was upended, she needed someone to connect with. Cady found that connection in M3GAN, an artificially intelligent machine designed to be the perfect best friend.

It turns out that M3GAN takes her job deadly seriously, as we probably should have suspected. From M3GAN to Chucky, there’s something innately frightening about an artificial friend, but that’s a hang-up we might need to get over. In the not-so-distant future, the real friends will be the ones we make (in a factory) along the way.

While the evidence suggests that there’s no replacing real human connection, an artificial companion might be the next best thing for the millions of people going through life alone. Whether you’re an aging adult, a kid struggling to make friends, or just someone enthusiastic about gadgets, these are the robots that could be your next best friend.

For More on Robots:
With Help from a Robot, a Surgeon on Earth Performs Simulated Surgery on the ISS
The Science Behind I, Robot: How Scientists Are Working on Isaac Asimov's Laws of Robotics
Tesla Engineer Injured in Bloody Robot Attack at Texas Factory

Real World Robot Friends Who Hopefully Aren't As Violent as M3GAN


More than just a robot, ElliQ is intended to be a friend and assistant to aging adults. The robot itself is mounted to a stand similar to a smart home hub. It has an included tablet computer screen and webcam for navigating menus and displaying information.

ElliQ doesn’t have a face, per say, but it feels like it does. The robot is voice operated and it orients itself toward you and lights up when communicating. Even though it doesn’t have eyes, it feels like it sees you. It can carry a conversation, order groceries, call a ride, listen to music, play games, tell jokes, and more. It’s good for tracking health information and offering medication reminders, and it can conduct video calls with friends and family for you. It will even record your conversations with it as a personal memoir for you to reference or share in the future.

Loona Smart Petbot

If you’ve ever wanted the companionship of a dog without all of the responsibility, Loona might be the robot for you. Loona sleeps on her own charging pad, wakes up on her own, and starts exploring. She pays attention to her environment and interacts similarly to a biological pet.

If you call for her, she’ll come to you and follow you around the house. She can express herself through visual and auditory signals as well as physical movements. She’ll fetch a ball and chase a laser, and when she’s tired she’ll go back to bed to charge. When you’re away from home, you can access Loona remotely from your phone and ask her to play with your pets or pass communication to people in your home. And like any good dog, she can learn new tricks. You can program Loona with new functions using a number of programming languages, including kid-friendly Scratch block coding.

Vector 2.0

Vector is the robotic buddy you can carry in your hand. He looks like a tiny, black Tonka truck with a face and he’s ready to work! He moves on two sets of tread tires and has sensors to detect his environment. That means you can leave him on your desk without worrying he’ll accidentally roll off.

He can do the usual robotic things like provide information, answer questions, and run timers or alarms; he can also do things robots usually aren’t good at. Vector likes to be played with and he likes to get pets. He can feel when you’re touching him and, like every good pet, he enjoys a good scratch behind the ear. If you can find it.

With Alexa built in, Vector can control your home’s smart gadgets in between asking you to fist bump his tiny robotic arm. And when the day’s work is done and Vector is tired, he’ll roll to his charging station and sleep, then come back out to play once he’s rested.

Ebo X

Marketed as a companion, playmate, and guardian, Ebo does everything you want from a household robot except fold the laundry. Ebo can smart map your home to navigate, but also to identify potentially dangerous areas. If a child gets close to a fireplace, for instance, Ebo will sound the alarm. It can also recognize the sounds of children crying and will alert you to that, as well. If you’re not home and there’s an emergency in progress, Ebo will call you and let you see through its eyes.

Alexa connection means Ebo can control your in-home smart gadgets and Harman audio means it communicates clearly. You can also use it as a smart speaker to play music, podcasts, and audiobooks. Ebo is essentially a robotic sphere on wheels with a digital face and a suite of built-in sensors.

It has facial recognition so it knows who it’s talking to and can provide information like reminders that are specific to the individual. It will even play with your pets, and you can use it to check in on them remotely when you’re not home. Ebo wants to be a best friend, and not just to you.


Of every robotic companion on the market, Moxie is perhaps the most M3GAN-like (aside from the bloodshed). She has a moderately humanoid form and behaves much like a person. She will wake up when you first turn her on and when you wake her up thereafter.

When she wakes for the first time, she introduces herself and asks for your name. The entire front portion of her face is a screen which displays a cute and engaging face, capable of expressing a wide range of emotions. Her voice is just slightly robotic but it’s not so bad that it takes away from the experience and what she says is more important than how she says it.

Moxie will ask questions and respond to your questions. She’ll ask about your day and offer advice. She can talk with kids and adults about their feelings and experiences, remind them of appointments or obligations, and give them missions to achieve in the real world. Lest you get too worried about robots sending kids out into the world to carry out their mechanical deeds, Moxie’s missions are always good. She’ll ask you to talk with friends, finish homework, or do something nice for a family member.

Meet the best robotic friend (and worst robotic enemy) you could ever have in M3GAN, streaming now on Peacock.