The world is on the verge of having its first chip-robot dog, and it won’t have any human handlers.
The Canadian company called RooBot announced Monday it’s introducing a new breed of dog called Rodeo that can navigate the streets of Calgary by sniffing out people, using a combination of facial recognition and ultrasonic sensors to determine if they’re carrying a dangerous weapon.
The new dog is the first in Canada to have all three of those sensors integrated into its structure.
“We’re very excited to bring the first Rodeos to Calgary,” Roo founder and CEO Rob MacNeil told CBC News.
“I think that’s going to be really good for our community.”
He said the dog is already testing well with people and will be a good test bed for how to safely train the dog for use in a public setting.
The robot’s handlers will have to learn to work with the dog as it learns to respond to commands and use its ultrasonic sensor to detect movement.
“Rodeo’s a really unique product,” MacNeil said.
“Its the first product that’s coming out of Calgary.
It’s going into a world that hasn’t really seen it yet.”
It’s unclear when Rodeodos will be able to operate in the city, but the company said the company has received regulatory approval to test the dog in the Alberta capital.
“The technology is very powerful, and there’s no reason why it couldn’t be used in Calgary,” MacNaughton said.
A similar project in the U.S. went into effect in August, but was quickly abandoned because of safety concerns.
Rodeodeo was originally launched in 2009 and was originally slated to be a toy.
“It’s just a way to bring an animal that was previously thought to be an animal to the public arena,” said Tim MacLeod, the CEO of the Humane Society of Canada.
“People have been using it for many years.
They’ve been using this technology for years to help them do their work.”
MacLeod said Rodeods have been around for more than 20 years and have been used by police departments, veterinarians, pet stores and many more, and they’re expected to be adopted in Calgary.
“But this is the time that we are going to see the big companies get on board and take advantage of this technology,” MacLeod added.
“There’s a lot of potential for the Rodeot platform.”
The company’s first test dog is expected to arrive in Calgary in 2019.