The day is going to come when having a robotic pet that mimics a real pet is not going to be so farfetched. There are a selection of great robotic pets already available on the market and with new animals being introduced daily; these robots can be developed to help with search and rescue operations, observation and detection.
The Sony Aibo has been the most popular robotic pet for many years. This robot is based on a dog which comes with a toy to play with. The dog interacts with people and learns as it grows, just as though you were bringing home a live puppy. Unfortunately the Sony Aibo has been discontinued, but this has only increased the demand for these truly amazing robotic dogs.
The Robofish was developed by the University of Washington. These robotic fish are the size of a salmon and can swim underwater while communicating with each other. The aim of these robotic fish is for them to eventually assist with various research such as pin pointing pollution in the ocean.
Paro is a baby Harp seal who responds to touch and sound. This is considered the most therapeutic robot in the world and Paro will move his tail, open and close his eyes and make seal like noises when you interact with him.
[Read also: Using the Brain to Control a Robotic Arm]
A robotic bird that can take flight and is designed to look just like a seagull. These birds are very aerodynamic and can take off, fly and land without any assistance. While these are still in the design stages, these smart birds by Festo are already impressive.
[Read also: Festo introduces The ExoHand]
The Aqua Penguin by Festo is designed with a dynamic body shape which enables them to swim in all direction, including backwards. These robotic penguins are supported by 3D sonar systems which enables them to communicate with each other when in the water.
ACM-R5 Robotic Snake
The ACM-R5 robotic snake was designed by Hirose Fukushima Robotics in Japan. The robot snake was developed with search and rescue in mind. This snake can slide and swim in hard to access places where humans could never reach.
While Jollbot really doesn’t look anything like any of the animals on the Earth, it does leap just like a grasshopper. This robot manages difficult terrain with ease and hops over any obstacles in its way.
A flexible worm which can manoeuvre itself along just like a real worm. These worms are still very much in development stages, but the movement is very lifelike using water filled balloons as the hydrostatic skeleton.
The spider robot was developed at Osaka University in Japan to assist with search and rescue missions. This spider can perform a range of impressive movements from managing webs to carrying different objects.
Robo Jelly was developed by the University of Texas and is made from shape changing smart materials. This jelly fish moves by heat producing chemical reactions which enables it to look just like a real jelly fish.
[Read also: 5 Basic Robotics Concepts to Share With Your Child]