Humankind has working animals for millenniums but not so many on ships or rigs.
Most probably our working animals won’t be very comfortable on seas… where many of us are not comfortable at all.
The idea behind Anymal is not new at all.
For many reasons autonomous machines doing routine or dangerous tasks (or maybe both routine and dangerous tasks) are the obvious solution for these tasks.
The reasons are different depending on the perspective of each party interested in using the autonomous machines: cost savings for people running a business, life safeguarding for authorities and people interested in increased safety or simple avoiding the boredom of a repetitive task and freeing time for more entertaining stuff.
The “animal” shape – in this case the dog shape – is not obvious as well.
Dog is humans best friend, but horse was for a long time as well. Looking around now it is clear that dogs are all around but not horses. Having a horse is just a luxury.
The main difference is that horse work was heavily replaced by machines and the horse is a little bit too difficult to be keep as pet.
I can bet that same logic or maybe a far more deeper logic applies to our future utility autonomous machines: function or functions will dictate the best shape … and not only the shape.
The bottom line is:
Future is around the corner and, if one imagines something, it would be somebody else (not necessary just one) bringing the dream to reality so here we are: