Felik uses AI to take your pet laser-huntin'
It's no secret that cats and dogs can get bored when they're left home alone all day, which is why we've seen things such as pet-entertaining robots. Felik doesn't go quite that far, but instead uses artificial intelligence to let your critter "hunt" a moving laser beam.
Designed by Seattle-based startup Angry Lychee, the Wi-Fi-connected Felik is intended to be mounted on a wall or placed on a shelf, and is equipped with an infrared camera that it uses to detect movement. When your pet enters the device's field of vision, Felik is reportedly able to identify them as a moving animal, and it starts tracking their movements. It is claimed to know which end of them is the front, and can thus predict which way they're about to go.
It responds by shining a low-intensity laser on the floor or carpet in front of them, instantaneously reacting to their chasing behaviour by moving the laser spot away from them eight times faster than is possible for a human. According to Felik's creators, this makes for a better chase than is offered by gadgets that randomly move a laser around, plus it minimizes the chances of the laser accidentally getting shone in the animal's eyes.
Users can set the times and durations of play sessions using an accompanying iOS/Android app, which also allows them to set the boundaries of the play area, and to check in on their pets from work using a built-in 720p video camera. As they're checking in, if they wish, they can also take manual control of the laser's movements.
Felik has already been the subject of a successful Kickstarter campaign, with about 500 units having been shipped worldwide. Its creators are now hoping to increase production, and have turned to Indiegogo to raise funds. Assuming everything goes as planned, a pledge of US$98 will get you one – the planned retail price is $180.
You can see Felik in action, in the video below.