We have watched many space-based movies and probably some documentaries or real-life videos to know that life during space travel can be lonely. So keeping a pet with astronauts can help their mental health. But of course, there are limits when it comes to actually having pets in space. So the next best thing would be to have a robot that can replace a pet and be able to do more tasks than real animals. And of course, one powered by AI would probably be even better.
Designer: Jihee Kim
If this concept comes to life, Laika would be the perfect robot pet powered by Artificial Intelligence and designed to be as life-like as possible. After all, it is named after one of the first animals in space. Although there are many robotic dogs now available, this one is believed to be designed as a more friendly version. In this way it could indeed be a beloved pet for astronauts and could be integrated into “domestic contexts”. But apart from being a companion, the AI dog can also be used in emergencies and even to monitor the health status of people aboard spacecraft.
Laika is made from strong titanium so that it can withstand the extreme conditions encountered in space. It comes with a variety of sensors so that it can identify objects, people, and even literal location. This includes thermal imaging, depth cameras, slam cameras and ultrasonic sensors. It also comes with ECG sensors, so it will be able to monitor the health status of astronauts, especially during times when emotions are heightened which can also translate physically.
Changes will also be made in the future to improve other things about Laika, such as adding mixed reality glasses so users can get real-time information about their “pets” and their activities. The renders show a friendly-looking dog, so it would be a very welcome companion for astronauts who are missing their real pet or who are in desperate need of companionship. It even has a stretchable handle on the back so that they can carry small items or users can pick it up and move it around. Laika can also be used for other non-space purposes, including domestic situations.