In the design
of a robo-dog, we asked ourselves: What is the purpose of a dog?
are a human invention
and RO-VR! is but the latest manifestation of what started 15,000
years ago as an intuitive experimental foray into genetic engineering.
Although crude attempts have been made to create mechanical-robotic
dogs in recent years, they are basically gizmos. Although they may
excite our curiosity and possibly even addictions
This is a dog that will not forsake either its biological, historical
or social legacy.
environment faced by our ancestors was harsh
of the first wild dogs was born out of need. Our ancestors were
faced with a harsh environment. Through the ages we have constantly
re-modeled our creation from herder to rat-catcher to lap-sitter
but always based on need. At the dawn of the 21st
century, however with the exception of a few dogs which have
been trained for highly specialized functionsthe great majority
of dogs are little more than companion animals.
RO-VR! It wont be a hyper/neurotic beast that serves no purpose,
nor will it be a robot that is programmed according to its "Masters"
whim which would do nothing but make it an extension of his/her
neuroses. Ro-VR! is designed to be a humans best friend
and a friend isnt a toy, and doesnt always roll over
Why do we
need a new kind of dog?
live in an era characterized by the breakdown of nuclear families,
wacko non-linear environmental systems, and economies disembedded
from the daily needs of the human community. The Post Nuclear Post
Modern Post Structural Post Consumer era needs an act of redemption,
and we techno-wits are here to deliver it! What better than an act
of technological hubris to redeem our crumbling social and sagging
market-based economic systems and horrendous environmental record.
Pursuit of capital and a love of gadgets got us into this, and by
golly, they can get us out of it, too!
RO-VR! The first truly new tool of social engineering since the
Bolsheviks backed the Romanovs up against the stable wall!
ludicrous clams does our marketing department make for RO-VR!?
follows the course of a human life from cradle to dawning of social
responsibility (True Adulthood).
RO-VR! is imprinted on its partner at birth creating a
human-canine dyad which fills the gap left by traditional
but disintegrating social units (nation/tribe/clan/family/marriage).
a C.U.I., or Canine User Interface. This legacy
system ensures strong bonding between RO-VR! and its human companion
and provides a connection with both human and dog history. Technological
hubris is at least partially born out of ignorance of the past.
in the past the dissolution of the nuclear family could lead to
all manner of dysfunctional child responses, RO-VR! would create
a Mowgli Effect™ the dog recognizing and filling
in the Nuturance Gaps left by social/familial breakdown
ensuring the raising of individuals who are whole physically,
emotionally, socially, and intellectually.
(a boy/girl and his/her dog) are therefore the new true cornerstones
of a strong liberal-democracy.
too many human care-givers, dogs are loyal. 15,000 years of genetic
manipulation started the process, and a further decade of computer
assisted bio-engineering has created the perfect shepherd for
infants, youth and adults.
purpose within the Dyad is to facilitate the raising of a Whole
Human ™ Adult. RO-VR! "teaches" social responsibility
inside or outside traditional social structures, but with the
purpose of creating fully-functional citizens for 21st
course this wouldnt be science-fiction if RO-VR! couldnt
perform sophisticated acts of DNA sequencing and bio-remediation
for mundane 21st Century household tasks, such as growing
organs for transplant and disposing of all waste generated by
the human companion during its lifetime.
or Animal, or Does RO-VR! have a carburetor?
starts life as a blastocyst, or fully-fertilized growth cell capable
of creating all organic cells needed by RO-VR! throughout his lifetime.
Unlike human DNA, which contains roughly 3 billion base pairs, RO-VR!'s
DNA contains nearly 4 quadrillion base pairs.
RO-VR!'s case, this results in a super-sophisticated DNA computer.
uses Standard DNA combinations to synthesize all amino acids necessary
for protein building to create RO-VR!'s biological component.
addtion to this perfunctory need, RO-VR! contains DNA snippets,
comprising bits of logical code. These DNA snippets compete against
each other in evolutionary environments where only the most useful
survive to give RO-VR! limitless capabilities for self bio-engineering.
This is essential as RO-VR! must be capable of responding to the
constantly evolving needs of its dyad partner.
can create antibodies that bind to inorganic molecules to break
down heavy metals, synthesize replacement silicon chips, and sequence
owner's DNA (sampled by dog-like licking) to grow replacement organs.
RO-VR!'s built-in bio-remediation tools break down all wastes associated
with the dyad, including RO-VR! itself at the death of the human
Cradle to Citizenship
starts out as a crib toy, but becomes much much more. Depending
on input from the human companion, the sophisticated DNA computer
will determine RO-VR!'s optimal form. For instance soon after birth,
as the child can only recognize light, colour and shape, RO-VR!'s
built-in nanotech engine creates an organic celluloid and forms
into a plastic crib mobile. (Owing to legacy artifacts, the mobile
will have a lot of dangling milk bones and rabbits).
the child grows RO-VR!'s facial recognition routines will scan for
facial sophistication in the human companion and RO-VR! becomes
a toy face that smiles back at the baby. Although not yet a "dog",
even at this early stage in its development RO-VR! is constantly
assessing the childs needs, and its own growth will be dictated
by the childs needs. In extreme cases (i.e. the abandonment
of a child) Ro-VRs evolution will morph dramatically
in this case into a life support system (of course it is only when
the dog is actually a dog that full-scale LassieSupport™ is
human toddler will be accompanied by a puppy. Together they will
explore the world, and together they will grow and thrive into the
next stage of life.
number of forms and iterations RO-VR! takes is determined by feedback
from the human companion. Likewise the breed, size, and personality
of the dog is dictated by the childs needs. To over-simplify:
A selfish child will have a needy dog, a shy child will have a dog
that tends to get lost in crowds, an out-of-shape child will have
a large dog that takes her for walks by dragging her around by the
leads who? RO-VR! isnt a sage, or even a mentor or coach.
Were not trying to create a doggie "Mr Ed" who can
hold an intelligent conversation. RO-VR!s intelligence can
best be described as "fast, cheap and out of control"
if one strategy doesnt work to remedy a problem, RO-VR!
will immediately try another, until a solution is found.
the surface (by todays "SUV-gated community" standards)
RO-VR! isnt even a "perfect companion" for a child.
If a childs development into a Whole Adult dictates that it
should take risks, then RO-VR! may take a nap even if the
nap results in a broken limb for the other half of its dyad. If
a child needs to individuate, then RO-VR will nip at his heels until
the kid is out of the house, and then may sleep 23 hours a day so
the kid has to rely on his own wits. RO-VR! knows that kids need
to eat dirt in order to get some good healthy bacteria. RO-VR! will
pee on the carpet, get sick, go feral, eat a ranchers sheep,
grow you a new kidney whatever it takes to shepherd its partner
new form of Social Organization: The Dyad System
greed. Increasing gap between rich and poor. High crime. Erosion
of the nuclear family. Lower attendance at churches. All of these
are indicators that something is amiss in our current socio/political
structure. RO-VR! aims to change this. By shrinking the fundamental
family unit, RO-VR! will teach the importance of individual responsibility
within the context of a larger social responsibility.
tracks the human companion through life, choosing forms based on
the stage of life of the human companion. RO-VR! starts as the above-mentioned
crib mobile. As the baby is exposed to more and more of the real
world, RO-VR! adapts to provide for the physical well being of the
child. In much the same way that contemporary dogs know something
is wrong with a family member, if the nuclear family is strong,
RO-VR! takes more of a background role. If the nuclear family is
weak, RO-VR!'s Rapid Development Cycle Time ensures it can adapt
to provide whatever "security" is needed. RO-VR tracks
physical well-being, spiritual needs, social needs and emotional
transitions in RO-VR! become significant events in the life of the
human companion. In effect, they become rites of passage; the form
of your RO-VR! indicates your stage of development as a human being.
In fact, RO-VR! is involved at all rites of passage, replacing traditional/spiritual
events such as christenings or bar mitzvahs, while at the same time
co-opting unsound secular rites of passage, such as learning to