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Our Soulless Friends

    1 . Pets for Lazy People     2 . Domestic Robots
    3 . Lifeless Beauty     4 . Virtual Pets
 el 24 Nov 2008 por Natalia Latina

Pets for Lazy People

The virtues of make-believe animals

A robot visitor from the ancient past
A robot visitor from the ancient past
A robot visitor from the ancient past A mechanical extraterrestrial cat that expresses emotions This therapeutic seal is so cute it’s frightening Even robotic dogs like playing catch
We have a hard time understanding our friends who have real, live pets. It’s hard to imagine why anyone would want to live in house full of fur: if you sit on their couch, you get up looking like some sort of Yedi... And what’s up with those walks under the moonlight in some desolate park at 4º below? Don’t they know that you don’t have to become a slave just to have a companion? Engineers, with that irrepressible creative impulse of theirs, have always strived to offer the privileged few automatons.

The most popular of these replicants is man’s best friend. Sony’s Aibo is the reigning star in the universe of robotic dogs. It’s the perfect give for children of guilt-ridden divorced parents or for those loners who are a bit off their rockers. This first-born of artificial intelligence recognizes gestures, can sense it when you pet its side, is capable of moving in infinite ways, and can be trained.

The Paro baby seal is a bit more disturbing, even though Takanori Shibata, a genius from the Japanese Institute for Intelligent Systems Research, created it for therapeutic use. Its interactions are so natural and sweet that experts believe it has the ability to help sooth children and sick people…

Many will be intrigued by the iCat from Philips. This robotic cat is meant to interact with humans and demonstrate its ability to develop social skills. Reality has proven to us that these are rather scarce...

But Pleo is no doubt the most audacious pseudo pet. It does more than just move gracefully and respond to your petting. It also gets hungry and tired. And it happens to be a recreation of a creature that became extinct millions of years ago. This baby Camarasaurus will stir up your most tender emotions.

Links
Sony’s Aibo
Paro
The iCat by Philips
Pleo
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