Who needs grandkids? This robot dog wants to be the new companion for the elderly.


It barks, but you can also hear its internal mechanics.

Not even dogs are safe from being displaced by robots.

The toy company Hasbro has a new golden retriever robot designed to provide companionship to elderly adults. It’s the second companion robot pet from the company, following a robo-kitten last year.

Hasbro’s mechanical pup looks real from a distance, but it won’t run toward you. Although it doesn’t learn commands, it does bark and move in response to people talking around it. When petted, sensors on its coat trigger it to move in response to the touch. It does not, thank goodness, simulate other puppy behaviors that require house-training.

Robotic companion pets have been around for over a decade, but the concept rose to popularity again this year after Paro, the robotic baby seal, originally developed by Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, had a cameo in Aziz Ansari’s hit show “Master of None.”

Sony first came out with a robotic dog in Japan in 1999; by 2006, the company reported it had sold 150,000 units. Sony stopped providing support for the mechanical pet in 2014.

For its part, Hasbro’s robot puppy is fun to tease, but when you hug it, you can hear its servo motors and, eventually, you’ll have to replace Fido’s batteries. You can get your own robo-dog for $120.

Here’s a video of the robotic cat Hasbro released last year.

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