Man's best friend is about to get a major upgrade—but don't expect this dog to eat your homework.
Roobo, a Chinese artificial intelligence startup, recently pulled back the curtain on an artificial intelligence-powered "pet robot" named Domgy. An affectionate anagram of the phrase "my dog," Domgy could be yanked from an episode of the classic "Jetsons" cartoon—even though his functions are more like robotic housekeeper Rosie than the family's pet dog Astro.
The beauty of Domgy, however, is that he won't require long walks, feedings or bathroom breaks. He's the latest is a line of cyber pets that were once heralded as the wave of the future before losing popularity. Sony once manufactured a robot canine, but shut the project down more than a year ago.
In some ways, Roobo is attempting to pick up where Sony left off. The company told CNBC recently that Domgy is more than just a run of the mill automated pet. It has "smart-home" features that give its owners weather forecasts, change the television channel and is even a guard dog. Domgy's face recognition capabilities can identify strangers, and can warn owners if an intruder enters the home.
"With its unique AI capabilities, you can teach Domgy to do different things based on voice commands and visual cues," said Anthony Chen, Roobo's marketing director. "Unlike a lot of consumer robots on the market, it's both functional and fun."