Bad idea: Robot seeing-eye dogs

The NR003 is to be commercialized, eventually.


Japanese bearing-maker NSK has developed a robot guide dog for visually impaired people that can do some of the things a real dog can do. But it’s a far cry from man’s best friend.

Recently shown off at the iRex 2011 robot trade show in Tokyo, the imposing, black NR003 has a somewhat unusual design–four legs with wheels instead of paws.

It’s designed to tackle stairs, going up and down by walking, and rolling with its wheels on flat surfaces.

Users hold a pressure-sensitive, variable-length handle on the robot while being guided around. The machine has obstacle and distance sensors in its head and legs to detect stairs.

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As seen in the vid below, NSK says the NR003 was developed because it takes a long time to train guide dogs, and they can only serve … [Read more]

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