A Funeral for a Robo-Dog?!

Playing Should Robot Dogs Get Funerals?

The Doctors discuss a Buddhist temple in Japan which held funerals for robodogs that were no longer in production! It may seem peculiar, but The Doctors share how pet owners actually got attached to these robotic dogs.

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The robodogs were trainable and mischievous, just like real dogs, and over time the pet owners felt a connection with them. When the company who created the dogs canceled their production, it meant the dogs would no longer receive software updates meaning they would die! The Buddhist apparently believe these dogs had souls so the funerals were meant to release the souls back into the world.

Watch: How Do Canine Comfort Dogs Help Patients?

Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon and dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra can see the attachment while ER physician Dr. Travis Stork thinks it’s weird! Dr. Batra thinks the funeral is less about the dog’s souls and more just for the dog owners. She brings up a comparison in Japan between those same robodogs and real ones in nursing homes and says the elderly inhabitants responded better to the robodogs than the real ones because they were less maintenance yet they still felt companionship!

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