Robot dog confuses real dogs

Originally published at: Robot dog confuses real dogs | Boing Boing


Well, how can you be friends with someone who doesn’t have a butt to sniff?


Dogs have a much wider uncanny valley range.
My inlaws had a wireframe reindeer that moved its head periodically. My dog went up to sniff it, it moved and the level of freakout was positively hilarious. She jumped about 8 feet, crouched down, barked, and could not at all figure out why something “alive” wasn’t paying her any attention.

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It takes more than that to confuse a cat. Confuse-A-Cat – Vintage Python

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Ro-bot-dog, turn him off, motherfucker! Say turn him off!"

My former colleague Fred Kaplan did a series of experiments (in collaboration with ethologist Eniko Kubinyi) about twenty years ago exploring the reactions of dogs to Sony’s AIBO robot dog. As I recall, the general dog consensus was “It’s not a dog and I’m not going to treat it as a dog, but if the little fucker comes anywhere near my food bowl while I’m eating, I’m gonna end it.”

Discover Magazine has an article about the research. There used to be a video online showing one of the experiments, but it seems to have disappeared. The best moment was when a dog growls to warn the AIBO away, and then, when AIBO keeps coming, knocks it on its robotic ass. The sudden panicked screams of the researchers when they think that the dog might just have trashed their $1500 robot are worth hearing (for the record, AIBO survived the assault unblemished).


It went from “Lets see what happens when real dogs encounter robot dogs” to “Lets torment the real dogs with a squirt gun” in like 10 seconds.

Pretty illustrative of the problems with robotics in general…


I’m noticing a trend across much social media of people tormenting animals for the views/likes, especially cats. This is sooo not cool. :rage:


Robot dogs featured most recently at Boing Boing in this piece describing a video of a Chinese drone dropping off an armed robotic dog. Well, here’s another post about a robot dog, but this time it’s a little less frightening.

I’m not saying I’m Disappointed™ or anything, but it’s not exactly breaking news that the videos of adorable dancing robots and quirky robo-dogs are pure uncut propaganda to make you care less about the ones with integrated machine guns.

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Particularly the autonomous robot dogs with integrated machine guns.

Next time try it with a human head, a la “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”


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