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Robotic Dog Walkers

Technologies in the Film

Image credit: Back to the Future Part II (1989)

In the film, when Doc Emmet and Marty are going to Marty's home in the future, the audience can see a hovering robot walking a dog. Technology has sought out to make everyday tasks easier in the film, whether it be by upgrading existing technologies or creating new pieces of technology to perform these simple tasks so we don't have to. While we currently do not have a hovering robot that could walk our dog, several technologies are being marketed as such, and several other technologies that allow you to take care of your pet already exist or are being developed.

Automated Pet Life

Luna is one of the few pieces of developed technology that has been advertised as a possible commercial dog walker [1]. Luna is a highly customizable robot for home use that can help around the house, and has been advertised to possibly accomplish certain everyday tasks, but was not solely intended for this task, possibly being inefficient at completing this task as it was not built for it. Work on creating a prototype device for an actual dog walker has been found along with possible designs for such a device have been found, but current work or patents do not lead to conclusive proof that this device may become commercial in the near future [2].

Though nothing is conclusive at this point, several devices for automating pet life may indicate that these devices could become popular. The PR2 robot has been expanded to be able to pick up POOPs, or Potentially Offensive Objects for Pickup [3]. This feature was tested on picking up dog feces, and could be of potential use to dog owners. Several other device patents exist that will automate dog life, such as automatic dog feeders that can feed pets at given time intervals [4].