Should you really spend $3,000 on a robot pet for your family?

They say there’s no greater bond than man and man’s best friend - but what if you can’t have a dog? Whether it’s due to allergies, the place you live, or the schedule you have, pets are just another area where robots are taking over. But, is it worth shelling out thousands?

Should you really spend $3,000 on a robot pet for your family?
  • Which robot pet is the most popular? It’s got to be the Sony Aibo. Although a robot, this dog acts just like man’s best friend.
  • Is there a robot pet more expensive that Aibo? The Groove X companion robot pet, launched at CES 2019, costs $5,500.
  • Where can I find more robots? Head to our robotic gadgets category here.

There are so many fantastic things about having a pet. The biggest has to be companionship; there’s nothing like being greeted by your best (and most loyal) furry friend when you walk in the door (even if it’s just because they want food). But, there are also plenty of downsides. You have to consider costly pet insurance and vet bills, expensive nutritious food, and the fact that you can’t up and leave for vacation without sorting out plans for your pet, too.

Enter robot pets. While the idea seems frivolous for 2019, it’s becoming a reality. For all the downsides we mentioned, robot pets have few. But, are they worth the price?

The history of robot pets

Back in 2016, when robot pets like Domgy came onto the scene, it seemed unlikely that consumers would accept an artificial living member of the family.

Then came robots like Jibo and Kuri which, no matter how cute they look, could never really compensate for a living counterpart. But as time has gone by, robots are getting better and smarter. Last year, when Sony launched their first robot pet, Aibo, it seemed like a fresh bit of innovation in the world of robotics. From the concept of design to its execution, this robot can keep you entertained for hours. But then again, with a price close to $3,000, is it worth buying?

When Mayfield Robotics shut down last year, it was clear that no matter how convincing these robots look, making them a reality is not as easy as it sounds. The price tag is definitely justified when you realize just how much work, expertise, and engineering goes into each design.

What it comes down to isn’t your love for technology – it’s about your love for animals. If you absolutely adore your dog or cat (or any other pet), it’s unlikely that you’d ever go for an entirely artificial pet, let alone spend $3,000 on one. On the other hand, if you’re uninterested in having a real pet and you love technology, maybe Aibo is worth a try.

The future of robot pets

Every new technology is, in some part, a working prototype. While the consumers latch onto new tech and designs, it’s like a massive market research project. The creators of the world take the results (i.e. the number of pleased consumers) and, in turn, create their own designs. So, yes, the technology of robot pets will only get better. For example,  Aibo could have a security camera attached to its head to help you monitor your home even when you’re away. Or, it could get the skills of Alexa to serve as a link to your digital personal assistant.

Still, spending $3,000 on a single pet robot can be a hard pill to swallow. Aibo is more of a luxury gadget for you to have some fun. For now, the robot pets available are not things you can actually use like a smart home vacuum.

If you had $3,000 to spend on technology and you’re looking for something a bit more practical, you could instead go for one of these five smart home systems (for half the price or less):

GARDENA Smart SILENO City Robotic Lawnmower Set

Thanks to SensorCut Systems, this device can accurately mow your lawn for you. Compatible with urban gardens up to 500 m2, the GARDENA Smart SILENO City frees up your time by doing all of the hard work. Likewise, it is so quiet that you can barely hear it as it works. Once the lawnmower is done with its task, it returns to the charging station on its own.

Price: $1261.80

GARDENA Smart SILENO City Robotic Lawnmower Set

GARDENA Smart SILENO City Robotic Lawnmower Set

U by Moen Smart Shower

These smart showers allow you to control them using just your voice. You can easily start, stop and pause your shower and adjust the temperature with a simple command. Just ask Alexa and you’re ready to go. Plus, it comes with an app so you can even control and manage your shower from afar.

Price: $1225

Panasonic Alpha Luxury Washing Machine

Featuring a luxurious appearance, this washing machine is the result of a collaboration between Panasonic and Studio F.A. Porsche. Combining innovative design and high-quality components, the Alpha Washing Machine uses a Wi-Fi connection to allow users to load detergent remotely through the smartphone. You’ll even receive a message once the cycle is complete.

Price: $1930

Panasonic Alpha Luxury Washing Machine

Panasonic Alpha Luxury Washing Machine

Yaasa Smart Adjustable Support Bed

With four different positions to choose from, Yaasa lets you create the perfect nest. Super-quiet motors move the bed, while wall slide technology ensures your nightstand is always within reach. Using the supplied remote control, you can choose the zero gravity position or the anti-snore preset. There’s also a position that helps you sit up in bed – perfect for those productive mornings on Facebook.

Price: $1499

Kohler Verdera Voice Lighted Smart Mirror

Featuring Amazon Alexa, all you have to do is ask to get a hands-free bathroom routine. Alexa can adjust the light to your ideal brightness for your grooming, play your favorite music, check the weather, and so much more. Additionally, the built-in microphone offers easy voice control interaction while the integrated stereo sound system fills your bathroom with high sound quality.

Price: $1598.67

There are tons of truly useful smart home devices that are under $3,000. But if you really want to splurge on technology, we think Aibo is a must!

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Madhurima Nag is the Head of Social Media at Gadget Flow. She side-hustles as a digital marketing lecturer/speaker and loves to voice her opinion on marketing, crowdfunding and gadgets (of course!) in general.
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