If you like the idea of playing with your pet even when you’re not around, then the solution could be in the form of a high-tech, remotely controlled ball called Pebby.
Touted as a “robotic pet sitter,” Pebby lets you interact with your dog or cat — or dog and cat — via your smartphone whenever you’re out of the house.
Features include a wide-angle camera so you can watch your canine or kitty dash around the house as you tease it by rolling the ball any place you like. Of course, the camera also lets you remotely snap images and shoot video so you can save the best moments or quickly share them on your favorite social media sites.
Pebby can also project a laser light onto the floor, ramping up the entertainment factor for your pet as it scurries after the light wherever you choose to point it. It includes a bunch of LED lights too, so you can even play about in the dark or in dimly lit rooms.
Tempting as it might sound, you won’t be able to play with your pet the whole time you’re out of the house. After all, there may be the small matter of work to consider, and what if you spot your boss heading in your direction just as you’re about to send the ball scuttling between Buster’s legs?
Thankfully, Pebby’s creators have thought of that and wisely included an automatic mode that’ll keep your four-legged friend happily entertained, at least until the battery gives up.
When that happens, the PebbyKennel comes into play. This is Pebby’s awesome charging station. Simply tap the auto-dock function on the robotic toy’s mobile app and it’ll automatically locate the charging station and slot itself in. Pebby offers 90 minutes of playtime and lasts for 12 hours on idle mode.
The kit also includes a smart collar so you can track your pet’s activities throughout the day, with all the data sent straight to the app.
And there’s more. The clever device can also emit a “woof” or “meow”, or your own prerecorded message, something like, “Who’s a good boy,” or “Fetch,” or even, “Stop wrecking the furniture,” if they have a habit of doing so.
Some more boisterous pets are bound to test the ball’s durability, but Pebby’s thick, shatterproof, polycarbonate casing, which includes a specially made “Shock suspension system,” means the device is a match for even the rowdiest of mutts.
It’s waterproof, too, so if it ends up in the water bowl you’ll have nothing to worry about.
As you can tell, the Pebby is a pretty comprehensive piece of kit, and the Sunnyvale, California-based team that built it hope its Kickstarter project, launched this week, will help take it into production.
Delivery is estimated for July 2017, with early bird specials offered at $124 for the whole package — that’s about half the expected retail price.