Japanese developer NSK in collaboration with the University of Electro-Communications have created a robot that acts as a guide dog.
The robo-dog is equipped with a Microsoft Kinect image and distance sensor that creates a 3-D visualisation of obstacles ahead.
With four jointed legs and wheels, the robot is able to help a visually impaired person to climb steps to a certain place.
In a demonstration video provided by NSK, we can see a blindfolded scientist climbing up the steps of a staircase, guided smoothly by the robot dog.
Controlled by software and by hand pressure, the robot responds to instructions after informing the user of obstacles via a synthetic voice.
NSK is currently working on a system of voice commands as well as the integration of a GPS in the hope to market its robo-dog in 2020.