Thursday, August 27, 2009

Can You Buy One On Amazon?

Photograph by: canada.com illustration

According to an article on canada.com, in the near future you may trading in that litter box and giant bag of cat chow for a more carefree, useful model. Hey, why are the English going to get them first?
"Artificial cats and other man-made companions could be keeping Britain's elderly company within three years if society can be persuaded to start experimenting with robots...A robotic pet could help raise the alarm in the case of an accident, monitor fridge contents to make sure the elderly do not go hungry while voice prompts could remind them to switch off the heating."
But getting yourself even a robo-kitty may raise some issues they claim. Ethical issues, if you can believe it.
"The ethical challenges facing a robotic revolution include concerns that artificial pets or helpers could lead to social isolation for the elderly. The large amount of personal data recorded by any monitoring would also need to be regulated."
So, it will be a very noisy kitty, it seems. Will it be reading my e-mail, checking my bank account, counting the Twinkies in the cupboard? If anything, I would be the one being taken advantage of, not the faux pet. If I choose to acquire one and let it wander around my house, I miss the ethical problem. No need to call PETRA...People for the Ethical Treatment of Robotic Animals...quite yet.

And how exactly would it cause social isolation? Will it unplug my phone, bar the door so I can't go outside, limit my Twitter time...or maybe be so darn cute I will not be able to draw myself away from it's strangely hypnotic orange eyes? Maybe it's just me, but I think if I had a robo-cat, everyone in town would be lined up to see it. I could be the most popular person in NJ. Even more popular than those Housewives, but without all the drama. Just the slightly off sound of it's electronic purring.

Of course, her name will be Kitty. I hope she knows how to do laundry....

Oh my, is that Robo-Bandit?? Eeeek!


11 comments:

  1. You got me laughing pretty early in the morning Caite! Personally, I find the idea of robotic pets just a tad creepy! Like Chucky the doll!

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  2. Haha, while I would sort of agree with Sandy that a robotic pet would be a little creepy, it does seem like a good idea. I think we hear a lot about how lonely many elderly people are and I don't see how having a pet that didn't need an able-bodied person about to exercise it or take it to the vet would be a bad thing.

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  3. don't have to make arangements when on vacation...great for people that wok 12 shifts..like me!

    ok, creepy yes, but interestingly creepy. :-)

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  4. Huh. Well, I guess I can see it as a kind of pet substitute for elderly who really can’t take care of a pet anymore. But monitoring the fridge contests? How does it do that? And if it can do that what else can it do? I’m envisioning a robot pet uprising. But maybe I just watch too many movies. But the orange (almost red) eyes do make him look kind of evil.

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  5. Creeeeepy! I already know one pretty evil REAL cat-- I don't need fake ones trying to steal my identity in order to buy catnip online.

    great post!

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  6. i have a feeling whe i am elderly, I'll still be prefering a "real cat" and "Real little box" LOL

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  7. but look at your lovely green eyes my wee Bandit!

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  8. my eyes aren't green. in fact my mom says my eyes are the color of milk chocolate. : )

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  9. not what the picture says....

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  10. I can't see why we seniors wouldn't want a change and a creepy interesting change at that. "IT" might get the alien gods off my cat "Tiger's" tail now and then if you know what I mean?

    I hear ya! Hey Victor tell sinner vic that he's spoiling my joke!:)

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please speak up, I LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!!