Pets

Anthouse isn't a robot dog, it's a dog's robot

Anthouse isn't a robot dog, it...
The Anthouse will be available in yellow or white
The Anthouse will be available in yellow or white
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The Anthouse will be available in yellow or white
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The Anthouse will be available in yellow or white
A pledge of US$299 will get you an Anthouse, when and if they reach production
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A pledge of US$299 will get you an Anthouse, when and if they reach production
True to its tank-like design, the Anthouse can also launch projectiles
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True to its tank-like design, the Anthouse can also launch projectiles

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.

A pledge of US$299 will get you an Anthouse, when and if they reach production
A pledge of US$299 will get you an Anthouse, when and if they reach production

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.

Source: Kickstarter

4 comments
Daishi
I hope they succeed. Actual telepresence robots cost anywhere from like $2,000 to $15,000 and they don't have to be much more complicated than a radio controlled car controlled by a tablet on a stick. If they are successful they'll do more than most telepresence bots at a fraction of the price. There are lots of cool applications for telepresence bots (like this) once people work to get the costs down. An online racing game with RC cars would be a cool experiment. The ability to see any museum or conference by reserving a telepresence robot at it would be a great way to see things "in person" with no realistic means of traveling there. With some work you could even do this with drones at outdoor spaces like the grand canyon. cape.com has a platform for online piloted drones so it's certainly possible. The availability of inexpensive telepresence will allow people to physically pilot regions of the world from anywhere else in the world.
Edward Vix
Tennis balls shouldn't be given to dogs for play. Most will quickly strip off the very abrasive fuzz and even swallow it.
McDesign
Oh good lord. How did we make it down the Oregon Trail.
ljaques
Pet toys? Hmm, we won't provide healthcare, housing, or jobs for all our precious citizens, but we Americans blew $66 BILLION on pets in 2016 last year, and it's expected to be $69B in 2017. Hey, robotics is cool, but let's get some focus on priorities here, please.