A robotic seeing-eye dog uses Microsoft's XBox 360 Kinect peripheral and will be released commercially in 2020.

Japanese robot maker NSK has unleashed the latest prototype of its robotic seeing-eye dog. This helpful hound uses Microsoft's Xbox 360 Kinect peripheral to sense the world around it.

The dog zips around on four wheels, tugging along his visually-impaired friend on an leash-like handle. But when the robodog spies a set of stairs, he really comes into his own.

First up, the Kinect uses its raft of 3D-sensing cameras to recognise the height of the staircase and the width of the individual steps. It feeds this into an algorithm so it can scale safely and securely.

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