Seoul district office to demonstrate AI-based care robots for abandoned pets

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : September 29, 2020, 10:38 | Updated : September 29, 2020, 10:38

Dogs play with an artificial intelligence-based robot at a dog shelter. [Courtesy of Gangdong District Office]

SEOUL -- A southeastern district office in Seoul will demonstrate an artificial intelligence-based care robot at a local animal shelter to provide proper care for abandoned pets. The care robot, also known as carebot, collects health data, provides snacks and plays for exercise.

According to official data, there are about one million pets living in Seoul. In 2018, about 8,200 pets were abandoned with 23.5 percent of them euthanized. To help improve the rights of pets, all dog owners are required to register their pets or face a fine of one million won ($854). However, the rate of registration is below 50 percent.

The office of Gangdong District in southern Seoul said in a statement on September 29 that it has partnered with Clear City, an organization for abandoned dogs, and LG Uplus (LGU+), a mobile carrier, to demonstrate the use of AI-based care robot at a pet shelter. The district office said the carebot can fill a workforce vacuum created by the lack of volunteers who have shunned pet shelters to avoid being infected with COVID-19.

State dog shelters are normally operated with help from volunteers who feed and clean abandoned dogs. About 32 percent of dogs housed at the shelters find new homes, 25 percent return to their original owners and 22 percent are euthanized to reduce overpopulation. In 2017, President Moon Jae-in adopted "Tori," a black homeless dog that was kept at an animal shelter after being rescued from a dog meat farm, to enhance public awareness about abandoned dogs

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