PetBot Lets You Keep in Touch with Your Pet from Afar

Today is National Dog Day. I didn't know this until various pet supply companies flooded my inbox; but as a dog owner, I can see why the 62 percent of Americans who have a pet spend so much on them. Unconditional love is hard to come by; so when we get it, we want to reward it. Speaking of rewarding pets, I recently interviewed Jason Yu, the CEO and Founder of PetBot, a Canadian firm that has a unique gadget for rewarding pets in the works. I've reviewed a related product, the PetCube, and there are similarities, but while the PetCube lets pet owners look in on and communicate with their best friends, and even interact with a remote-control laser pointer, the PetBot will go a step further.

The PetBot can actually deliver a doggie treat (or cat treat) by remote control. A dog can essentially be trained to "call" you, for a little man-dog FaceTime. The reward creates an incentive to stay in touch.The PetBot is a novel idea and I look forward to seeing the finished model. The prototype I saw is pretty far along and well made. It has a nice industrial design that would make it right at home in Martha Stewart's kitchen or an Apple Store, or a Disney Store for that matter. Yu told me there are plans to let users personalize their PetBot with eyes, mustaches, and more. Your PetBot could end up being a bit of a cross between Mickey Mouse and a Minion.

Instead of looking in on your pet and maybe catching a glimpse of them or just seeing them sleep, the PetBot is more proactive. When the pet wants to communicate with you, it approaches the PetBot and basically "calls" you using the companion app. Even better, the PetBot listens to barks and can contact you when your dog is worried. Perhaps if there's an intruder or the dog is ill. With PetBot, you get an alert rather than having to check on your pet frequently.

The camera on the PetBot has a nice fisheye lens so you can see a much wider view of your home. Since my dog runs free, this is helpful. I also like that the unit can be wall mounted, so it can be stable and secure, since a dog might have an incentive to knock it over to release all the treats! You can communicate with your pet, using the device's built-in speaker and microphone, but a nice touch is the ability to play pre-recorded sounds so the animal can be comforted from afar, even if you are in a noisy environment.

PetBot

Here's hoping the PetBot starts shipping soon, in time for my next trip, and before next year's National Dog Day!

 

Top image credit: Martin Maun / Shutterstock.com

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Todd Bernhard's picture

Author Details

Todd Bernhard

Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.