Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Robot Dog Vs. Real Dog Battle It Out

Boston Dynamics' robot dog isn't nearly as
pleasant and tag waggy and fun as a real dog
but it is a nifty piece of technology  
It's come to this: We have real dogs playing with robot dogs now.

I'm rooting for the real dogs, but still.

In a video posted a to YouTube a few days ago, we see a robot dog (named Spot, of course) playing with a real dog, named Alex.  You can see the video at the bottom of this post.

Alex does not quite know what to make of his metallic robot new friend, with it's fairly accurate dog movements, but he gives it a whirl.

The robot dog was created by Boston Dynamics, the same outfit that caused a bit of a stir last week when they unveiled their nifty humanoid robot that could do lots of physical things that robots could not previously do, like navigate like a human around obstacles, keep its balance, and get right back up when somebody pushes it over.

Apparently, these things would be good in warfare, as it will be machines killing each other rather than humans, goes the theory.

The robot dog can also easily get up and walk away after lying down, it can walk over curbs and rough terrain, and can walk in a variety of different ways.

Impressive robotic work, but I still prefer the real furry companions. Yeah, my real dogs Jackson and Tonks sometimes have accidents in the house, bark at inappropriate times, make a mess and get sick, something that robot dogs won't do.

Robot dogs are cool, but I'd MUCH rather hang on to
my two real furry companions, Tonks (left) and Jackson. 
But you can't replicate the excitement the real dogs Tonks and Jackson bring when you come home from a long day at work.

Robots can't really replicate the laughs you get in a tug of war game with flesh and blood dogs, and they can't comfort you the way a warm dog sits on your lap contentedly when you want to relax and chill out.  

Still, a couple Christmases ago, my young nephew Jonas from Minnesota received a toy robotic dog for Christmas that follows simple commands and "learns" the habits of its human to help make the pair friends.

While not nearly as nice as a real dog, Jonas' robot dog was oddly endearing.

Boston Dynamics' dog is not endearing at all, but obviously that's not the point. The company was just showing off its nifty robots and what they can do.

But, if you're into that type of thing, you can watch the video of the robot dog and real dog cavorting in a parking lot, below:

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