Man’s Best Friend Meets Man’s Next Friend

March 28, 2008 at 5:33 pm 1 comment

I recently posted one story on the ways an artist proposed to use technology to improve the lives of dogs and another about how researchers used a robotic dog to try to study how docked tails might affect dog-dog interactions.  I still don’t agree that artificial hackles or LED tails will help dogs live more meaningful lives or that using a robotic dog to study how real dogs interact with each other is scientifically valid but…. In a recent bit of internet research I was stunned to see how much time people spend comparing man’s best friend to man’s next friend.

Here’s a couple of examples of how robots might benefit real dogs:

I adored this robotic ball-throwing machine and the incredibly cool dachshund that enjoys playing with it – in moderation.  (but I am quite sure that my kelpie would kill herself if we had one of these…..) 

Here’s a nifty remote robotic dog treat dispenser.  It lets you IM treats to your dog! 

Now here’s some examples of how humans might use robotic dogs to improve our lives: 

Check out the creepy robotic “dog” developed by defense contractors.  Frankly, this one didn’t strike me as particularly doglike.  Was that because it sounds like a hive of electronic bees or perhaps because it because it HAS NO HEAD?  Yuck. 

Hey!  This is the perfect pet for those folks who want a dog but don’t want to bother with training it! 


Is this a robot dog or a human in dog suit mimicking a dog robot?  You decide. 

NSFW robotic dog controlled by a television ventriloquist 

A real dog attacks a robotic dog WITH A LONG TAIL!

Entry filed under: amazing, dog, dogs. Tags: , .

Games People Play — With Dogs Playing With a Dog

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Audie's Gramma  |  March 29, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks woman. I watched all the video of “Big Dog” and actually had nightmares about it last night.

    It’s hard to sometimes shake the perception that what one is seeing is two guys in a robot suit, one of them running backwards.

    At first I thought they’d got the forelimbs articulated wrong, backwards, but it’s an illusion brought on by the fact that all the joints are below the “body.” Hip and knee joints are fairly simple structures to replicate with metal, but the shoulder-sling and elbow maybe not so much.

    The nightmares focused around the engineers “abusing” the robot. It was actually upsetting to see the guy try to kick it over, and the robot struggling to stay upright, and also upsetting to see it slipping on the slick surface. Headless or no, that conveys “desperation” to me.

    I’ve got a friend who designs killbots for the military. We’re hoping he’ll be able to get us in good with Our Future Robot Overlords. I think the guys who were kicking Big Dog will be toast.

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Because A Dog’s Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste


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