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Robotic Dogs: the Future of Companion Robots

We are now in a time where the line of what we are able to love and what we should has become blurred. These smart robots are slowly crossing the line into a form that is almost organic – like live pets. One such example is Sony’s Aibo  , a robotic dog.

Robotica   is an 8-minute video about how some cultures have already become accepting towards the future of robotics and all that it could provide. These companion robots are less common in the United States, but that doesn’t mean that robotic dogs are not a part of life in some parts of the world.

The Japanese believe that every object has a soul  , which may help explain why they have been on board for some time now. People there are becoming so attached to their robotic dogs that they hold funerals for them when the circuits die.

This may seem pretty far fetched – to even think we could have feelings or a sense of companionship with a mechanical dog or cat. However, it's already been seen that many of us experience empathy for these robots.

For example, in 2015, Boston Dynamics, a robotics company, posted a video on YouTube   showing off their new robot named Spot. This was received with some criticism as the video showed people kicking the robot to show its stability with many who saw it viewing it as cruel and wrong. Obviously, many feel these are not simply robotic toys.

The companion robot industry could prove to be a lucrative one. If you do a Google search for “robot dogs,” you will already find countless patents pending. Everyone wants to get ahead of this thing because there is a market and it will take off in the next 10 to 15 years.

Dr. Jean-Loup Rault posed the following question  : If artificial pets can produce the same benefits we get from live pets, does that mean that our emotional bond with animals is really just an image that we project on to our pets? He claims that in the near future, live pets will be replaced by interactive robotic versions, changing our reality as we know it today.

This may all seem a bit surreal at the moment, but this trend of robot pets is well underway.

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