16:15 09 May 2017
A robotic dog has been designed to ease loneliness among the elderly without the “owners” taking the responsibility of taking care of an actual dog. MiRo, the robotic pup, has been created by scientists at the University of Sheffield and is fitted with various sensors allowing it to wag its tail when being stroke and feeling happy.
The ‘mimetic’ robot also has built-in smart stereo cameras allowing it to recognise people as well as a sonar sensor, which means that it can determine its location. Its designers said that the “emotional” pup could use artificial intelligence to perform a variety of useful tasks such as raising the alarm in the event of an accident or making audio calls.
Mechatronics engineer Ludwig Resch said: 'With artificial intelligence, it opens doors to a whole range of new things,'
'If it was just an animal, you would be pretty much stuck at that animal level, that ability to interact emotionally, but since we have the artificial level and that high level thinking brain, we can do things that animals couldn't.
Meanwhile, Maria Favre, the studio manager of Consequential Robotics that helped build the bot, said: 'It has a companionship effect so when it's on and around you it really gives you that warm, buzzy feeling that you have someone that understands you'