Your dog is not going to miss you after the robot uprising. In a recent experiment with sociable robots — who are designed to emulate human social behavior — scientists found that dogs learned quickly how to interact with robots just as if they were human.

The scientists designed two experiments — one with a social robot that spoke with a human voice, displayed a human face on its monitor/head, and had hands; and one with an asocial robot that emitted beeps. To signal to the dog that the social robot was, well, social, the humans would talk to it and shake its hand. Then, the robot would talk to the dog and drop food for it. Meanwhile, the asocial robot just beeped. The dogs responded to the social robot as if it were an unfamiliar person.

Writes Shaunacy Ferro on Popular Science:


While the dogs didn't interact with the robot to the same extent that they normally do with humans, they spent more time hanging out near the robot or looking at its touchscreen head when the robot behaved socially. They were better at finding hidden food in the room when the social robot pointed to it, rather than the asocial one, though neither held a candle to the results when a human pointed to the food.

There you have it, folks. With just a bit of training, your dogs are happy to play with robots instead of you. Interestingly, one of the researchers on this study, Eniko Kubinyi, has also written about how humans interact with dog robots, too.


Read more via Popular Science