This is a seeing eye robot developed by Japanese ball-bearings giant NSK, who actually wants to see the robo-dog hit production lines by 2020. *eying calendar* I'd...work on something I could monetize a little quicker.
With this third iteration, unveiled late last month, NSK and UEC have added a Microsoft Kinect sensor, which allows it to more easily identify and navigate obstacles or stairs...The bot's paws have also been equipped with obstacle-avoiding bumper sensors, and researchers are working on incorporating voice commands, as well. NSK says its guide dog could eventually feature GPS capabilities to provide more accurate directions for the blind and visually impaired, though it'll probably be a while before it hits the pavement; the company hopes to commercialize the dogbot by 2020.
Oh man, this reminds me of the time I locked myself out of my girlfriend's apartment walking her cat and decided to pass the time at a bar until she got home.
*GW puts on sunglasses, enters bar with cat on leash*
Bartender: Service animals only!
Me: I'm blind, this is a service animal.
Bartender: No, that's a cat.
Me: ...THEY GAVE ME A CAT?!
Oldie but a goody. Hit the jump for a video of the seeing eye bot in action.
Thanks to Doomie, who'd rather risk it than be caught crossing a flashing "don't walk" street with this thing.