CNET Twitter Post – Seeing-eye dogs are amazing, but have you considered a seeing eye robot?

Video description for CNET video titled “Seeing-eye dogs are amazing, but have you considered a seeing eye robot?”

Man with mask over eyes walking with a robot dog on a tether as it leads him around a maze made up of cardboard boxes.

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This is a robotic seeing eye dog. Researchers at the University of California Berkeley’s hybrid robotics group have recently created a quadrupedal robot that works like a guide dog, Guide dogs are trained to help humans navigate and operate through their everyday lives. This robot, attached to a leash, hopes to take on that role.

Zhongyu Li, one of hybrid robotics group’s researchers, explains that typical “guide dogs need to be trained individually and that skills from one cannot be transferred to another”. However, when using a robot, “the algorithms developed on one robotic guide can be easily deployed” onto another.

In addition to the dog, hybrid robotics’ group has developed a unique leash. It’s a device that can switch between taut and slack modes to help guide human users more effectively in confined spaces. For example, when in a narrow space the robot can first let the leash go slack, which enables the robot to reposition and reorient itself without influencing the pose of the human.

The researchers are now looking into guiding people through more complex outdoor environments and to help those who are visually impaired navigate intersections with traffic lights.

What obstacle would you like to see this robotic quadruped tackle next? Could a robot guide dog be as good as a real dog?


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