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Robot News: “Roll over, Rover: Robot service dogs are on the way”

Via the Dallas News:

Inside Kemp’s Healthcare Robotics Lab at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, he and co-workers are developing a robot dog they say could someday perform the same functions as the service dogs that are vital to many physically disabled people.

At a skinny 5 feet 7 inches tall, with wheels instead of paws, their robodog, named El-E (pronounced “Ellie”), doesn’t look anything like a real dog.

But El-E can open doors and cabinets, fetch dropped objects and do other service dog functions – all without ever needing to eat or relieve itself.

Ultimately, Kemp and his co-researchers plan to train El-E to do things not even highly skilled service dogs can do, such as dial a cell phone for help or relay information about its companion’s condition to a doctor.

“A lot of people have looked at robot dogs for entertainment and companionship,” Kemp said. “But we said, ‘Hey, what about looking at this in terms of physical assistance?’

There are lots of possible uses.

I got to think this might still be preferred:

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