Once the preserve of science fiction movies, it seems robots are taking over the world. In Japan, there is even a robotic dog that sniffs feet and tells the owner if they are smelly: the pooch barks if the feet are cheesy; and if the odour is particularly punchy she keels over and faints. The robot, which has been called Hana-chan, measures 15cm robot and has an odour detection sensor for a nose. What’s more when she detects a bad smell she sprays air freshener to beat the pong. Japanese start-up Next Technology was inspired to develop Hana-chan after they were approached by a man who was desperate to know if his feet stank. ‘He told us his daughter had said his feet were smelly,’ employee Kimika Tsuji said. ‘But he didn’t want to know how bad the odor was because he would feel hurt. That’s why we developed this cute robot.’ Now anyone can have their very own Hana-chan, at least after parting with the princely sum of more than 100,000 yen ($9,280) a pop. That price is enough to make the editor keel over and faint.
September 24, 2017