Cat toys have certainly come a long way in the past decade or so, but even the most sophisticated ones pale in comparison to real prey. They might have motors and randomized motion settings, but they don’t react to your cat’s attacks the same way a real mouse would.
That’s where Mousr comes in. Built by a group of electronics engineers, this little bugger is equipped with artificial intelligence and a slew of different sensors, so it can move around and evade your cat like a real rodent.
Beneath its mouse-shaped hull, Mousr sports a 360-degree infrared camera for detecting and navigating around obstacles, as well as an inertial measurement unit (IMU) that tells the robot when it’s hit an obstacle or been caught. To coax your cat into giving chase, it’s also outfitted with a small internal speaker that gives off little squeaks. When your cat is about to pounce, Mousr’s evasion algorithms kick in and it tries to scurry away.
The toy is designed to operate autonomously, but it can also be controlled manually via Bluetooth if you ever feel like piloting the mouse yourself. Just link Mousr up to your phone with the accompanying app, and you can zip it around your kitchen floor with simple touchscreen controls.
The device only exists in prototype form at this point, but the creators have recently taken to Kickstarter to raise the money needed for mass production. The project still has a long way to go to reach its $100K funding goal, but is already gaining steam just a couple days into the campaign. Pledge your support now during the crowdfunding stage, and you can lock down a Mousr of your own for $120-$140 bucks, depending on how fast you act. If all goes well, the creators expect to ship the first units to backers about a year from now in October 2015.