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Robot taking care of your dog

1181 Views 19 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Curls
Hey there DogForum community! 馃惗馃
We're conducting a study on the use of robots to assist with the care of pet dogs and we need your help! If you currently have a dog or have had a dog in the past, we'd love for you to take 3 minutes to fill out our survey. 馃搳
And don't worry, we're not trying to replace your furry best friend with a robot - we just want to understand how these technologies can supplement and augment the care provided by humans.
So if you're a dog lover and want to contribute to our research, just click on the link below and take the anonymous survey: Survey: Robot walking your dog

Thanks for your help!
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My job on a walk is more than simply choosing a direction and acting as a mobile anchor to prevent the dog from running away. I'd say I do about 1/2 to 2/3 of my obedience training on walks. I'm also constantly monitoring the dog for signs of nervousness, arousal, or interest so that I can intervene.
I'm also constantly monitoring our surroundings for danger or problems. Some examples-- My dogs occasionally step on something or get a leash tangled around a leg; I need to assess the situation to determine if an injury has occurred. They occasionally want to step off the sidewalk and walk in the street; I need to ensure they stay on the sidewalk. I once encountered a bear on one walk and needed to quickly remove my dog (and me) from the vicinity. I've encountered loose dogs several times. A few years ago near my office a deranged groundskeeper, annoyed by dog poop and urine spots on the lawn he maintained, left poisoned bait out to kill dogs that stepped off the sidewalk.
I don't trust most humans to walk my dogs; my guys are too sensitive and reactive. There's no way I trust a robot to have the emotional and situational awareness to safely walk my dogs.
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For a dog of any significant size a dog walking robot would need to have some serious heft to prevent the dog from overturning and dragging it. I once watched a Golden Retriever, tied to a chair outside Starbucks, spook and run. Unfortunately the chair was too light to restrain the dog; the chair merely got dragged along behind when the dog fled. I have no idea what originally frightened the dog, but the metallic clattering of the chair only increased the dog's panic. One one side of the road was a guard rail; on the other side were stone walls. The dog couldn't get past either barrier, so the poor animal shot back and forth across the busy road looking for some way to escape the chair. Fortunately all the cars stopped, and a couple of pedestrians were able to capture the dog.
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