Now, a ‘robo-dog’ that guides the blind

Japanese inventors have created a ‘robo-dog’ that can make life a lot easier for blind people.

The robotic dog designed by Japanese developer NSK, along with the University of Electro-Communications, uses a Microsoft Kinect image and distance sensor to create a 3-D visualisation of obstacles ahead, the Daily Mail reported.

On flat surfaces, the robot can speed up by rolling along on wheels but navigates uneven ground and stairs with its hinged legs. The ‘paws’ contain bumper sensors to also help it avoid obstacles.

The dog is controlled by pre-programming the software and by putting pressure on the handgrips.

The robot responds to instruction by letting the user know what is going on with a synthetic female voice.

Future versions of the robotic dog will include voice commands and GPS for more accurate directions.

The device is still in the research and development phase, which has been ongoing since 2005.

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