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Why a robot could never replace a guide dog

30 Mar 2015

Following the news that robot “guide dogs” have been developed by researchers, fans of guide dogs have taken to the web to express why a robot could never replace the real thing. Here’s our top ten:

Robots don't have hearts

A guide dog is so much more than a mobility aid. When they’re not working they behave just like a pet dog and are adored by their owners and show love in return.

Friends for life

There are many people with sight loss who rarely leave home on their own and many more who say they feel cut off from the people and world around them. A guide dog is a companion who provides company and friendship as well as assistance.

Part of the family

A guide dog isn’t just there to support its owner; guide dogs become part of the family and are adored by everyone.

You can’t cuddle a robot

Have you tried? It’s nowhere near as soft and warm as these little puppies.

World class dogs

The Guide Dogs charity has trained guide dogs for more than 80 years and the techniques are pretty advanced. Guide dogs are bred for their exceptional attributes that make them among the most loyal and trusted canine companions in the world.

A robot doesn’t want its tummy tickled

There’s no denying that robots are pretty cool, but they are far less cute when you rub their tummies!

Guide dogs can go up steps

While the robots aren’t yet able to tackle steps, guide dogs are experts at getting about. They also receive special, advanced training to support their owners’ unique lifestyles. Guide dogs help people from urban London to the Scottish highlands.


A guide dog and their owner have a truly unique partnership that is built on trust and understanding. Guide dogs can learn a huge amount about their owners from their height to their length of stride.

Batteries not included

Guide dogs don’t run out of batteries so they’ll never leave you stranded.

The robot looks like a lawn mower

Enough said!