Posted 3 months ago
by Caroline Abbott
What kind of dog always obeys commands and never chews your slippers? A robot dog. And they’re no longer simply science fiction, as there’s a Chinese tech company on a mission to get one into every home and business as soon as possible.
The futuristic-looking AlphaDog, developed by Weilan, might not be as cute and cuddly as a real dog, but it does have lots of similarities – and you can even play with it and take it for walks.
More usefully, it is a powerful walking computer system that can be assigned to safeguard people and properties, patrol parks and communities, guide blind people, deliver packages to your front door, inspect highly dangerous places including machinery and pipes, and even undertake rescues.
Like a loyal friend, the high-tech quadruped uses sensors and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to see and hear its environment and try to accomplish commanded tasks autonomously.
It can move (at a walk, trot, bound or gallop) at a typical human walking speed of three or four miles per hour. It can even walk up stairs.
Like a real dog, it can only keep going for a few hours before running out of energy – then its battery needs recharging.
Weilan is continuing to build more and more powerful robots and hopes that its intelligent machines will benefit more and more people, and speed up the world’s transition to creating and producing everything humanity needs to survive and prosper in a sustainable way.
“We are aware that our plan is crazy and absurd by any reasonable standard, but we are going to work really hard to make it happen,” says the company on its website. “And the work we do will benefit humanity as well as people’s daily lives from Day One.”
There are several different robot dog models available to buy right now, with prices starting from around £4,100.