Do your feet smell bad? Just a little or absolutely awful?
If you don’t dare to ask a friend, one Japanese start-up might have the answer with a new robot dog that will sniff your feet and give you a pitilessly honest verdict — even fainting if the stink is especially strong.
Malodorous feet can be socially awkward in Japan where shoes are removed at the entrance to every home.
Hana-chan — a play on the Japanese word for “nose” and a common girl’s nickname — is a helpful little robot mutt who will bark if she detects moderately whiffy toes, but will keel over if the pong is particularly pungent.
The 15-centimetre (6-inch) dog, equipped with an odour detection sensor for a nose, also sprays air freshener to resolve the situation if the aroma is unbearable.
Manufacturers Next Technology created the robot in response to a request from a man who was desperate to know if he had a problem.
“He told us his daughter had said his feet were smelly… But he didn’t want to know how bad the odour was because he would feel hurt,” employee Kimika Tsuji said.