Treasury Today Country Profiles in association with Citi

Fluffy friend sniffs out putrid pongs

For US$900 you will soon be able to buy a tiny robot dog that will tell you if your feet smell.

Japanese manufacturer, Next Technology, has developed a robot dog that sniffs your feet and assesses how strong the odour is.

Hana-chan – a play on the Japanese word for 'nose' – is equipped with odour sensors and indicates the severity of the smell by barking, or, if the smell is especially dreadful, keeling over. It will also spray air freshener to remove the pong.

The dog was built after a Japanese man approached the company worried that his feet smelt. “He told us his daughter had said his feet were smelly,” said Kimika Tsuj, an employee at Next Technology. “But he didn't want to know how bad the odour was because he would feel hurt. That's why we developed this cute robot.”

Next Technology plans to start selling the robot dog early next year. Will you be buying one?