Domgy Robo Pet Recognizes Your Face, Guards Your House

Senior Writer

You can't teach an old dog new tricks, but you can teach a robotic one some neat skills. I recently met Domgy, an artificially intelligent robo pet that will recognize your face. It's coming from the Beijing-based Roobo and will be available on IndieGogo this fall at a price between $400 and $500. Domgy was developed and presented by IPL (Innovative Play Lab), a Korea-based company in which Roobo invested in early 2015.

Domgy is Your Next Robotic Pet. Credit: Andrew E. Freedman

Domgy uses Roobo's proprietary artificial intelligence technology and a 5K camera found in its touch-screen face to identify you, your family members and friends. You can also order Domgy to follow you or go on patrol via voice commands. The company claims it can understand basic natural language commands.

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This robo dog can also serve as a watch-dog. When Domgy sees someone it doesn't recognize, it pushes surveillance photos or videos to an app on your smartphone. Since Domgy runs on Android, it can pack a whole bunch of other tricks, like helping you figure out your commute via Google Maps.

I loved that Domgy's expressive eyes featured adorable heart and star-shaped pupils when I pet its head. Its reactions depend on where you touch it, and it's especially particular to touches behind the ear (well, the speaker where an ear would be). The pet also issued giggled throughout our demonstration, which made it feel even more like an actual playmate.

Domgy runs Android. Image: Andrew E. FreedmanDomgy runs Android. Image: Andrew E. Freedman

Even though Domgy's name makes it sound like it should be a dog, it doesn't resemble man's best friend. With its giant eyes, moving head, the tracks on its legs and white-curvy design it looked like what would happen if Pixar's Wall-E and Eve had a baby.

One advantage Domgy has over actual pet animals is that it will speak in English and Chinese, and you can choose between male and female voices. Roobo Marketing Director Anthony Chen told us that the company plans for Domgy to speak up to 10 languages following future updates.
Image: Andrew E. FreedmanImage: Andrew E. Freedman

While Domgy will last only 4 to 6 hours on a single charge, the pet will automatically return and connect to its charging dock when it gets low. Much like a Roomba vacuum, when this little doggy's battery life is down to 5 percent, it plugs itself in.