Robot dogs are becoming more and more fashionable, and with good reason. They have proven to be just as versatile in different fields as their furry counterparts. In fact, NASA plans to use them to explore the Moon in future missions, while the United States already uses them to control borders. Today, they know a new profession, and it is that of guiding people with disabilities thanks to its artificial intelligence.
The Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) of Spain has managed to create a new breed of robot dogs. This four-legged terminal has been called Tefi —in honor of ITEFI, the institute where it was born—, and It comes equipped with artificial intelligence that can serve as a guide for people with disabilities. How does he do it? Having an awareness of the environment and the moving beings that inhabit it; be it cars or people.
Gerardo Portilla, a doctor in robotics, is its creator. He explains that this It is possible thanks to an advanced machine learning system and a camera built into its head.. In this way, and by connecting to Google via the Internet, it recognizes the objects that swarm the city in real time. Later, it can communicate with its owner—or other people—using voice response.
People who suffer from some visual impairment are the most likely to rely on guide dogs. Thanks to the training of these canines, can recognize people, doors, stairs, traffic lights and more. In the event that their owner suffers an accident, they are trained to ask the people around them for help. Now, the robots join the cause.
Tefi, the robot dog that uses artificial intelligence to help people with disabilities
As for his physical appearance, Tefi is not that different from other robot dogs of this style. Yes indeed, is able to recognize voice commandsand even sit down to do just about any other trick he’s told to do.
Tefi also has a GPS, which allows her to move freely around the city. For it, uses Google Maps as primary source of information, so you can quickly guide the user to places like stores, coffee shops, restaurants, hospitals, and more. Thanks to artificial intelligence, it recognizes objects in its environment, such as streets, people, chairs, computers, tables. As well as traffic signals, traffic lights and cars.
The robot dog also has personal assistant functions. A) Yes, can assist seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s and schedule medical appointments when the scheduled time arrives. If the selected hospital has a map, Tefi can take you directly to the door of the surgery; something that many devices are not capable of doing today.
Gerardo Portilla, creator of Tefi, comments that it is a robot “very robust and dynamic in rugged environments and much cheaper than a guide dog.
“Currently, automatic driving for guidance has already been developed, as well as the necessary artificial intelligence for the detection of objects, people and signaling. It can communicate by voice with the person to carry out the tasks that are requested and can also tell what it sees through his camera and the information he receives from the internet.”
Gerardo Portilla, doctor in Robotics and father of Tefi
The future of robotics is more human than ever
The closer we get to the future of advanced robotics, the further away we get from the distorted, dystopian vision of these machines taking over the world. In fact, your application seems to be deeply focused on meeting human needsno matter how different they are.
Currently, Tefi the robot dog is in an early stage of its design. But his researchers plan to advance far enough to endow him with notable improvements. Among them, sensors that let you know if the person has high blood pressure, or if there is a volatile chemical agent in the home or workplace. So, you can notify quickly to save the life of your owner.
All this, of course, leaning heavily on artificial intelligence. Only in this way will the robot dog Tefi be able to learn by itself the necessary behaviors to serve humanity.
“Human-machine and machine-machine communication is the hallmark of this robot. For its full potential it is key to make it learn behaviors on its own, something we are focused on right now.”
Francisco Montero de Espinoza, CSIC researcher