Today it is tough to find an area that technological innovation has not touched. Maybe then it’s not such a crazy idea to think that your next pet just might be a robot.
Let’s meet four pet robots who are changing the game.
Meet Spot – The Robotic Dog
Boston Dynamics the company behind Spot the robotic dog describes it as a “four-legged robot designed for indoor and outdoor operation.”
Spot can run, hop and even open doors. “Spot is battery powered and hydraulically actuated. It senses its rough-terrain environment using LIDAR and stereo vision in conjunction with a suite of onboard sensors to maintain balance and negotiate rough terrain. It carries a 23 kg payload and operates for 45 minutes on a battery charge.”
If you have a thing for ancient creatures then this next robot might be more up your alley.
Meet Pleo rb – The Robotic Dinosaur
Innvo Labs Corporation is the company behind Pleo rb the robotic dinosaur. They are a privately-held company based in Hong Kong and Carson City, Nevada. They say their products, that are known as Life Forms, “intend to blur the line between technology and life by integrating three disciplines—organic articulation, sensory response, and autonomous behavior.”
Pleo rb is described as an “autonomous robotic life form, modeled after a week old Camarasaurus dinosaur.” It comes in various shades of green and yellow skin and has four life stages. Those stages are newborn, toddler, teenager, and adult. How Pleo rb progresses through each stage is determined the level of interaction of its owner.
Pleo rb is also designed to include what Innvo Labs refers to as born characteristics. These are gender, courage, temper, activeness, and obedience. In addition, Pleo rb has five distinct attributes built into its AI system that determine its physical and social behavioral patterns. Those attributes are feed, mood, emotion, health, and physicality.
If birds are more your speed check out the next robot.
Meet SmartBird – The Robotic Bird
Festo is the third generation family-owned company behind SmartBird the robotic bird.
The inspiration for the SmartBird comes from a herring gull. Smartbird is made out of carbon fiber and is one meter and six inches in length with a wingspan of about two meters. It weighs only 450 grams which makes it an ultralight flying model. with outstanding aerodynamics and maximum agility and is able to take off, fly and land without an additional drive.
Trying to understand how robots can be pets undoubtedly leads one to the ultimate question. Can a pet robot provide the same kind of emotional and health benefits as a live pet?
The next robot says yes it can.
Meet Paro – The Therapeutic Seal
Paro was developed by a Japanese industrial automation company called AIST and has been used in Japan and throughout Europe since 2003.
According to its creators, Paro “allows the documented benefits of animal therapy to be administered to patients in environments such as hospitals and extended care facilities where live animals present treatment or logistical difficulties.”
In the course of its use, PARO has been found to provide both psychological and social benefits to both patients and caregivers. It has helped reduce stress and improve relationships between patients and caregivers.
PARO has sensors that can detect touch, light, audio, temperature, and posture. These sensors allow it to recognize people and its environment and respond as if it is alive by moving its head and legs, making sounds using the voice of a real baby harp seal.
Given the opportunity, would you adopt a pet robot?