Japanese Cafe Has Weekly Playdates for Robot Dogs

image credit: Taro Karibe/BuzzFeed News

We love pets here at YellRobot. And of course, we’re pretty open to the idea of robot pets. But one café in Tokyo may be taking things to a whole new level.

Every Sunday, The Penguin Café opens an hour earlier and holds play dates for customers and their dogs. Sounds pretty normal right? Well, these aren’t just any dogs. They happen to be robots. Specifically Sony’s aibo.

Customers seem to be really into the robot play date. They dress their pets in fancy outfits and carry them in dog carriers. One named Cinq was dressed in a navy vest with a light blue bowtie. It was the robot dog’s birthday so their was even a plastic cake to celebrate.  The owner had previously owned four real dogs. She purchased the aibo pet after her last one died of cancer.

 “It would break my heart to have another dog die,” she said through a translator.

Aibo Robot Dog Can Recognize Faces and Voices

The aibo robot pet isn’t too far off from a real dog. It barks, does tricks and can even learn to recognize faces and voices. Cameras and sensors allow aibo to navigate it’s environment, detecting obstacles and people. It uses voice recognition technology to respond to commands and turn its head to locate the source of the sound.

Aibo keeps on growing and changing, constantly updating its data and learning new skills via the cloud. It evens keeps a record of its experience and creates a database of memories. As far as pricing goes, aibo’s newest model runs almost $3,000 plus a monthly cost of storing data in the cloud.

Check out our articles on the world’s first employment agency for robots and an AI tongue that can identify complex liquids.