As someone who runs through different parks on a regular basis, I definitely have a lot of interactions with dogs. As a dog lover, I don’t mind at all actually, and often stop to pet the ones who seem like they want to bust off of their leash just for the opportunity to “say hello”.
Having a dog comes with a lot of benefits, namely they truly are great companions. However, there is obviously a downside, such as some dogs who are prone to chewing on many household items. Enter SpotMini … if you aren’t familiar, watch this short YouTube video and come back … I’ll wait for you.
Ok, now that you have seen SpotMini, let’s talk more about it. As the video shows, the “animal” can do so more than just be a four-legged companion. It seems to help with the dishes, be able to run errands and more. It seems that SpotMini may be an ideal companion for many who are looking for both companionship and for a little extra help around the house.
So, is this the future of the “family dog”?
While I don’t see millions of households abandoning “Fido” in short order, I do see some great opportunities for such an invention. Its familiar form factor as a dog does help (somewhat) to reduce some of the fear that many would have towards using a robot in the home. This will be key as one of the main demographics that may benefit would be the elderly, as this could help to alleviate some of the extra burden expected from the health care needed for the aging baby boomer population.
As well, one only has to wonder where this technology will go? If you just add some of the technology that we have now to this device (such as Alexa, GPS and more), you can see how its value would increase further. Add in the power of Artificial intelligence to learn patterns and our likes/needs and this device could truly become a lifesaver for many in our society. One can see how it may help to make many people live more independently for many years.
As well, as time goes on, it would make sense that these devices would become even more life-like …. Just like how the different Terminators did in the movie. Hey, wait, is that a good thing to compare it to?
Well, to date, there have been no recorded incidents of SpotMini acting up. In fact, in one video where a man tries to interfere with it opening a door by tapping it with a hockey stick, SpotMini just continued on its mission of opening the door. Perhaps they have programmed in some “iRobot” code into it (feel free to watch the underrated movie with Will Smith if you do not know what I am talking about).
The Bottom Line
There is definitely a market for a device like SpotMini in our society, as its flexibility and form factor will be very appealing to many people. I don’t see it replacing the family dog anytime soon, so you still may have to come home to the odd shoe chewed here and there…..