It can be heartbreaking, leaving your beloved dog home alone as you head off to work for the day. That's why we've seen remote-controlled cubes, balls and other gadgets that let people "telesocialize" with their pets via the internet. The latest such device, the Anthouse, takes the form of a little tank-like robot.
Utilizing an iOS/Android app, at-work users can remotely control the tracked vehicle as it sits in their house with their dog, linked to their home Wi-Fi network.
Not only does the app allow them to see through the robot's front-mounted camera in real time, but it also lets them steer the vehicle, shoot stills and videos, and talk to their pet via a built-in speaker.
True to its tank-like design, the Anthouse can also launch projectiles – although in its case, those take the form of mini tennis balls that the critter can chase after. If they're appropriately trained, the dog can then bring those balls back to the robot and drop them in a chute on top, so that they can be shot out again.
Users can additionally dispense treats from a port on the side of the vehicle, in three different amounts.
Other features include an infra-red obstacle detection system, and the ability to automatically return to a wireless charging station when its battery gets low. One 4-hour charge of the battery should reportedly be good for 160 to 320 minutes of use.
If you're interested in getting an Anthouse of your own, it's currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of US$299 will get you one, when and if they reach production.