Okay, this product has one of the cutest promo videos I’ve ever seen and is something that will appeal to single pet parents, tech enthusiasts or just those of us who spend a great portion of the day pondering what our little guys are up to.
It’s called the PetBot and it’s essentially a pimped-out treat dispenser that includes a high-tech camera to connect you to your pooch or kitty when you’re away from home. It uses what the creators call “petificial intelligence” to record a selfie of your pet whenever he nears the unit and sends it to your cell phone (which then, in turn, you post to Facebook). It then rewards him with a treat (which will likely result in him nearing the unit on multiple occasions throughout the day), and takes a quick pic that is transmitted to you. How fun would it be to see Rover’s smiling face when you glance down at your cell phone during one of those boring presentations at work?
And no worries, you can set a limit on the number of rewards that are doled out – especially once your pooch catches on that standing in front of the PetBot can result in a slew of treats!
But it’s more than just a fun way to mess with your pet. It can also warn you when sounds are happening that don’t seem right – such as incessant barking or activities that could mean trouble’s a brewing. There are loads of customizable features in the works including a link with pet FitBits to capture even more data on your pet.
If you think your pooch is more likely to be freaked out by this type of technology than intrigued, you can actually record your voice on the PetBot to help calm his nerves and keep him company when you’re away. Imagine being able to call him over and then “give” him a treat because he’s a good boy!
The unit’s unique feature is Petificial Intelligence (PT) that was developed by PetBot Inc. By using visual and audio information PT can learn and make decisions on when to notify pet owners and when to interact with their pets. It then communicates with you over the internet once you have installed your app. And like any favorite selfie, it can be shared. Your pet’s selfies are short clips that can be shared on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Vine.
Adaptable for both Android and iOS, you can also enjoy PetBot by using the web interface.
To raise funds for mass production and a lower price point, the PetBot team are working with Indiegogo to raise their $80,000 target. They’re nearing the halfway point and are offering up some great deals including a $189 deal (20 percent off retail price) that includes unit, multi-treat dispenser, cover and power adapter as well as iOS and Android apps or even just the opportunity to support this venture with a $1 USD donation.
Looking for a little background on the co-founders? They have years of pet training, pet care and technical experience including the development of machine learning and artificial intelligence that have been used to test the effectiveness of drugs on cancer. This technology has been included into PetBot to inform pet owners when their pets need them. Combined with years of innovation, business and finance experience, their team hope to provide petificial intelligence to pet owners across the world.
Watch the video below and go to PetBot’s Indiegogo campaign page to sign up for a May 2016 delivery.
Mary Simpson is a writer and communications professional from Port Credit, Ontario. A soft touch for anything stray, she shares her century home with an eclectic collection of rescues that include Schnoodles, Lexie and Ruby James as well as tuxedo Simon, and ginger Harry. She enjoys running, politics, exploring the wine regions of Niagara and is an avid supporter of the “shop local” movement.