It’s one thing — one seemingly very strange thing — to build a robot whose only job is to tell us if our feet stink.
But to make it in the form of a fluffy little white dog? That’s a pretty odious, and odorous, task to assign to the species, even a robot member of the species, and it’s degrading to robot dogs everywhere — many of which perform far more important duties, like sitting, and laying down, and barking and fetching a ball.
This new odor-detecting technology comes from Japan, which leads the world in producing robot dogs.
Its name is Hana-chan, and the six-inch long robot dog from Next Technology has a built-in odor detection sensor in its nose that assesses just how malodorous you feet may be, according to Japan Times.
But not before spraying a little air freshener on your toes.
Hana is the Japanese word for nose and Chan is a common girl’s nickname.
Next Technology plans to start selling the robot dog in early 2018 — at about $900 each.
Now, as absurd as Hana-chan might seem, the product makes more sense when you consider the cultural context.
Traditional Japanese remove their shoes before entering a home — both their own and those of others.
Traditional Japanese are also respectful, and not as likely as, say, an American friend — or wife — to blurt out, “Jesus! Your feet stink.”
Next Technology says it created the robot in response to a request from a man who suspected he had a foot odor issue.
“He told us his daughter had said his feet were smelly . . . But he didn’t want to know how bad the odor was because he would feel hurt,” a company representative said. “That’s why we developed this cute robot.”
With the robot dog, people can avoid the embarrassment of being told their feet stink, or perhaps the even greater embarrassment of not being told and offending everyone in the room.
(Photo: Next Technology)