Jessica Pettway for TIME; Prop styling by Stephanie L. Yeh

Don’t let the cutting-edge AI and robotics fool you—Moxie is more like a Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood character than HAL. Created by vets of the children’s show as well as Pixar, Jim Henson Productions, and experts in education and child development, the robot is designed to help boost the social and emotional skills of 5- to 10-year-olds. In Moxie ($1,699), children find a compassionate pal who encourages reading and drawing, and sends them on missions meant to spur engagement with adults, siblings and peers, such as writing kind notes for their family to find or talking to a friend about feelings. Paolo Pirjanian, CEO and founder of Embodied, Moxie’s creator, says it is intended to offer “a springboard into the real world.” —Marjorie Korn

Buy now: Embodied Moxie

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