Let the dogs have that market, but those dogs are a massive expense. While this definitely is, by the time it hit production on a massive scale, it might not be nearly as much as a guide dogs because all the software is already written, the manufacturing process is already down to a T, and you don't have to pay puppy raisers and trainers. But even if it isn't, because let's face it, assistive technology is ridiculously expensive, you know what? Blind people can't fuck it up. And so many of them do fuck up their dogs. They don't keep to the program, they let the dog slip at home with structure and discipline and now the dog doesn't work as well. SO they have to retire their dogs early, which means another big ass expense.
Now, of course, not everybody is irresponsible with their dogs. But even if you're a guide dog user and you do everything right, unforeseen health complications could arise, causing your dog to need to be retired early. Or, because the dog is a living creature, it could just decide it doesn't want to work anymore, and you're forced into early retirement.
Yeah, it doesn't match the bond that you get with a dog, but if you want that, get an actual pet. Your guide dog isn't meant to be your pet. Of course, it's hard to maintain that sentiment, and the lines tend to get blurred. I get it, it's a cute furry puppy.
I have my reservations about this robot dog thing too. Why do we need to be walking around with a damn robot to guide us, when we could be implementing technology into a wearable device or a suite of wearables that all work together. But I feel like most people don't really see the 40-60 thousand dollars as an obstacle, because it doesn't have to come out of their pocket.
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