We've been seeing quite a few products lately that are designed to entertain dogs who are at home alone – some of them have been stationary devices, while other have been mobile. The currently-crowdfunding Pupple, however, combines both in one system.
The mobile component of Pupple is a Wi-Fi-controlled motorized ball known as the Bird. Utilizing an iOS/Android app, users located anywhere with internet access can remotely control that ball, getting it to roll across floors or carpet while their dog chases it. They can watch their canine in real time via a built-in 1080p/30fps wide-angle camera, which stays stable while the Bird's clear polycarbonate outer shell rolls. That camera can additionally see in the dark, with help from dual integrated infrared LEDs.
If users don't have time to regularly take manual control of the Bird, it can also be set to periodically head out on its own, using an artificial intelligence system to autonomously engage the dog in play. Built-in shock absorbers reportedly allow the electronics to survive falls down staircases, plus the whole thing is fully waterproof.
The app notifies users when the 3,000-mAh battery is getting low, at which point they can steer the Bird into the Nest, which is its wireless charging station. One 90-minute charge should be good for up to two hours of run time.
Sitting on top of the Nest (or anywhere else) is Pupple's mains-powered stationary component, the Treat House. It has a night-vision camera of its own, allowing users to check in on their pooch, along with a two-way audio communications system. The latter detects when the dog is barking or whining, and automatically notifies the user via the app. They can then roll out the Bird, talk to the pup, or toss it a treat from a built-in dispenser.
That dispenser can also be set to give treats on a preprogrammed schedule. Likewise, the audio system can play back a recorded message from the user (i.e: "It's OK, you can stop barking now") whenever barking or whining is detected.
Pupple is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, where a pledge of US$165 will get you a Bird/Nest combo (planned retail $249) and $289 is required for a full Bird/Nest/Treat House package (retail $499). Assuming it reaches production, shipping should begin next July.
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