Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and the man continues to bestow that title on the dogs. If the fairer sex is busy splurging on diamonds, the men are contending by spending on robotic dogs instead. They get pet benefits along with glutting their video-game cravings. One man who has grown incredibly fond of his robotic pet is Russian rapper Alexey Konstantinovich Uzenyuk aka Eldzhey, or sayonara boy (on Instagram), based on his album name. The 27-year-old performer showed off Unitree’s robot dog, Striga, walking down the streets in several images and videos on his Instagram account. At first, it is difficult to decipher the robotic dog from a fragile breed to a fake-man-made one, with a leash and a near-perfect gait. Pet parents often dress their pups in ridiculous avatars, making them look alien-like. But that’s not the case with Eldzhey.
His pet is, in fact, a robot by the Chinese firm Unitree Robotics. It bears an uncanny resemblance to Boston Dynamics’ four-legged dog, Spot. That robotic dog can run, climb stairs, remind others to social distance, and it costs more than Tesla Model S car. Eldzhey’s Chinese pet is a lot less capable than the $74,500 Spot but is equipped with artificial intelligence and skilled at speeds up to 17 kilometers per hour. The Russian hip-hop artist posted a video introducing his mechanical pet to the world. Captioned, “Meet Striga,” the video stars the modish rapper walking with a leashed robot dog down Moscow streets. The video that garnered 823k views and over a thousand comments show Striga showing off his skillset of walking on hind legs, marching quickly, and being nearly as adorable as a real dog, the main word being ‘nearly.’
Striga is the $14,000 Go1 model by Unitree Robotics. It can be helpful for activities like walking in the park or assisting consumers when buying groceries by carrying low-weight items on its back. For now, the famous Russian artist has only walked his robotic friend in style and not shown the world bringing his food tray around, but that’s undoubtedly coming our way. Eldzhey’s followers were quick to comment on the exciting and unusual videos. One followed called imakruykov asked, ‘What are you feeding him?’ Another user, alexlosver, said, ‘It would be better to take a real one from a shelter than these show-offs.’
The video where Eldzhey walks his mechanical dog has already gained over 1.5 million views and nearly 2000 comments. People had very witty responses to the viral video. While one said this is an excellent way to enjoy a pet when allergic to animals, another quipped you don’t have to clean up after the robotic dog.
A follower commented, ‘We are waiting for the backflip and the moonwalk of Michael Jackson from the robot dog.’ Now that’s something we can probably expect from Boston Dynamics’ four-legged wonder Spot, but this request would put Unitree Robotics’ Go1 in a spot. Striga is designed to carry a single bottle of water, and we might see him making a statement in one of Eldzhey’s shows, bringing a bottle to his master after a tiring vocal session and wowing the audience. Does the idea of enjoying a pet without the hassle of feeding, cleaning, petting, and exchange of love and emotions excite you? Then Striga, here is a walking, talking, mechanical example right in front of you.