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Future Tech: 

Meet CHIP, the robo dog that won’t forget your commands


CHIP can catch a ball, but can it capture your heart?

Good news for dog lovers who are too busy, or allergic, to own a dog came this week in the form of CHiP, a black and white electronic puppy that has been programmed to move and bark like the real thing. Short for ‘Canine Home Intelligent Pet’, CHiP was designed by high-tech toy maker WowWee, and although is still in prototype stage right now will be released for general sale next year.

Clever boy CHiP has a 360-degree field of view which makes it more responsive to its environment – for instance, it can sense objects and people approaching it from any angle. This also means that it’s able to find its own charging bed at night time or when its battery is low. What’s more, it moves on wheels meaning it isn’t limited to left-right movements and can seamlessly waddle around in any direction.

Gone are the days of lovingly microchipping your dog so that it won’t run away and get lost, because CHiP will actually keep track of you, which it does through a bluetooth enabled wristband called a SmartBand. This allows the dog to track your movements and interact with you when in the same room, as well as being able to tell where you are at all times so that it can get excited when you approach your front door (and presumably help find you if you get lost).

The SmartBand also allows you to ‘thumbs up’ the robot to give it positive reinforcement.

Because no dog is complete without a ball to play with, this robo dog comes with it’s very own toy ball with sensors that enable communication between the two devices, meaning that it can find the ball when playing catch or fetch.

CHiP’s designers certainly haven’t skimped out on the cute-factor, so really the only question that remains is – although CHiP is smart enough to catch a ball – will it be able capture your heart like a real dog?

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