Robot pets are the latest thing in Japan. Take, for example, the Robosapien. This robot is making the average person more comfortable with robots in the home. Now companies are starting to make robots that look, feel, and act like household pets such as cats, dogs, and gerbils.
Opposition to robotic pets
However, some organizations are not very excited about the prospect of robotic pets. “The turn toward having robotic animals in place of real animals is a step in the right direction,” says PETA spokeswoman Lisa Lange. “It shows a person’s recognition that they aren’t up to the commitment of caring for a real animal. Practically speaking, from PETA’s perspective, it really doesn’t matter what you do to a tin object.” This isn’t the Wizard of Oz.
Treatment of robotic pets
Some are questioning how robotic pets should be treated. “If someone puts a [robotic] kitten in a microwave, it’s not horrible. It’s foolish, but it’s not morally forbidden,” Dr. Danielson says. “Children need rich interactions with real, sentient others, both human and animals, If we replace that, I think we’re impoverishing our children. These relationships [with robotic pets] aren’t going to be fully moral. They’ll be partially moral, which is not as good as a real relationship with a real animal whose needs teach children that their own desires don’t always come first.” Professor Kahn says.
So what is your thought on robotic pets?