GomiBall is made to give pets a run for your money
If you're like most dog- or cat-owners, you don't like leaving your critter at home alone all day with nothing to do. As a result, we've seen several robotic pet-entertaining devices recently hit the crowdfunding platforms. While some feature cameras or treat-dispensers, GomiBall keeps things simple.
Not unlike the existing Sphero (which isn't a pet toy), GomiBall takes the form of an internally-motorized Bluetooth-equipped ball that can be remotely controlled using an iOS/Android smartphone app. That said, it can also be put on programmed auto-start/auto-stop cycles, so it will head out and autonomously roll across the floor while the pet-owner is out of the house – it can be set to "behave" in any of 12 different manners.
The idea is that dogs or cats will then chase after it, providing them with some much-needed exercise and mental stimulation. Just to make things more interesting, when its integrated sensors detect that it's been bitten, the ball vibrates. The device itself is reportedly rugged, waterproof, and its outer shell is made of FDA-approved polycarbonate.
If users can't find it when they get home, a function on the app can be used to make the ball's internal multi-colored LEDs start flashing, plus it will emit an audible signal. One three-hour wireless charge of its lithium-polymer battery should be good for a claimed 15 hours of use.
Should you be interested, GomiBall is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of US$79 will get you one, when and if it reaches production. The planned retail price is $149.