Attention to personal hygiene is of great importance in Japanese society. Any unpleasant smells are a source of acute embarrassment for the perpetrator. The problem is that we are accustomed to our own personal fragrances and it’s sometimes difficult to judge whether anyone has noticed you didn’t have time to shower after that lunchtime workout session. The whole subject is so taboo (not only in Japan) you would also probably feel slightly awkward asking a friend to comment on your body odor. This is particularly true in Japan, a country where outdoor shoes are left at the door and pet dogs are carried from car to home so that floor coverings will not become spoiled. The subject of personal body odor is therefore a very sensitive area.
To solve this tricky problem Next Technology has developed a robot dog "Hana-chan" (in Japanese Hana means nose or flower and chan is an ending tacked on to a name of someone or something to indicate it’s cute) that will snuffle around at your feet and judge their state of freshness. When no bad smells are detected Hana-chan nods his head and wags his tail. A slight pong will make him bark but a really pungent whiff and he just keels over…
The 15 cm robot equipped with an odor sensor can also deliver a squirt of air freshener to sweeten the air. The idea for the Robodog came from a customer who wanted to know if it was technically feasible to build a system to detect body odors. His daughter had apparently indicated that he may suffer from such a problem but he felt too embarrassed to ask exactly how bad the situation was.
The robot dog is due for release at the beginning of 2018 for 100.000 ¥ = €7,700. Can you put a price on fresh air?