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Robots could replace humans as dogs' best friends

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    Digital writers

    Saturday, September 14, 2013, 11:44 AM -

    The dogs interacted better with the more social robots.

    The dogs interacted better with the more social robots.

    It seems like we have some competition when it comes to keeping our "best friend" status with dogs. 

    A new study suggests that our canine companions could be just as comfortable cozying up to our robotic counterparts. 

    The scientists designed two experiments. The first involved a robot that was capable of producing a human voice, displayed a human face on its monitor and was equipped with "hands," creating the idea of a more social robot. The second experiment forced dogs to interact with an asocial robot that was only capable of emitting beeps. The dogs were capable of relating to the first robot almost as if it were human. 

    Dogs spent more time hanging around the robot and looking at its monitor. They were also more efficient at finding hidden food in the room when aided by the anthropomorphic robot. 

    The study aims to find a way to provide important information on "how to construct an efficient and believable social robot partner"

    One of the researchers is also studying how humans interact with robot dogs.

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