If you own multiple dogs and/or cats, then you may be familiar with the problem of one animal "stealing" food from another's bowl. Italian artificial intelligence firm Volta has set out to keep that from happening, with its pet-recognizing Mookkie.
Currently being showcased at CES 2019, Mookkie features a removable magnetically-mounted bowl, along with a front-facing wide-angle camera. As long as the device's designated canine/feline user isn't nearby, a transparent polycarbonate cover blocks access to any food that's in the bowl.
Once the animal approaches the device, however, an integrated microprocessor utilizes a deep neural network to authenticate their identity via facial recognition. If it determines that they're the "right" dog or cat, the bowl cover is temporarily drawn back, allowing them to eat – it's not unlike the face-unlock feature now available on some smartphones.
Utilizing a smartphone app, pet-owners can receive notifications (including videos) when the animal has eaten, along with alerts that the bowl is empty – Mookkie can see down into the bowl, and is able to visually determine when all the food is gone. As an added bonus, the device also has a built-in night light, to help pets find their bowl in the dark.
Volta plans on introducing Mookkie to the market this September, priced at US$189.
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