A startup called Beetl is developing an autonomous device that’s ready to clean up after our dogs on demand, thanks to a large scooper on its underside. If they’re willing to do this job, maybe robots aren’t trying to conquer us after all. Plus: “dogfishing” is a problem for online dating. People are using other people’s dogs in their profile pics in the hopes it will land them more dates. The internet is weird.

Beetl Robotics

Dogfishing: When online daters pose with adorable pets that aren’t theirs (Washington Post)

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We live in a world full of autonomous gadgets and devices ready to clean up after us at a moment’s notice.

Automated vacuums, self-propelled mops, there’s even a device now that lets the garbage can take itself to the curb on trash day.

Now, we have an autonomous device that’s ready to clean up after our dogs on demand.

It comes from a startup called Beetl, and its device is sort of like the robotic lawn mowers we’re starting to see in the marketplace, only this one has a large scooper on its underside.

When sensors spot something the dog left behind, it scoops it up and carries it away.

It can also cut tall grass if it’s getting in the way of the scooping.

The company doesn’t have a whole lot of information about the Beetl on its website, so for the time being, you’ll have to go old school when you clean up after your dog.

But, if nothing else, the idea of a robot dog scooper has got to generate some goodwill in the AI community.

I mean, if they’re willing to do this job, the robots probably aren’t trying to conquer us after all. Or maybe they’re just getting better at hiding their intentions….

Maybe you’ve heard of catfishing? That’s when someone creates a fake online identity to trick someone else into a virtual relationship.

Now there’s dogfishing, which is when people use pictures of themselves with dogs on their online dating profiles in the hopes that it will increase their chances of getting dates – except that the dogs belong to other people.

One wonders how a dogfisher expects to not get caught if this does land them a date – do they just have to keep borrowing their friend’s dog every time their date comes over?

I suppose it makes sense to daters. And maybe that’s why I’ve had so few dates in my life.