If you’ve ever spent a full 3 hours playing with an over excited kitten who has the energy of 10 Duracell bunnies, or left the room for approximately 15 seconds and returned to shredded curtains, this new laser technology will definitely be of interest to you.
Our favourite furry friends are hunters from birth. Cats and dogs need a lot of play to develop their skills as well as keep them fit and healthy. This is especially important for pets who spend a lot of their time on their own indoors as they could be susceptible to overeating.
AI + Laser Pointer = Best Toy Ever
We’ve all heard of using laser pointers to make cats go wild, but often cats just don’t get it. They chase the light for a bit but quickly lose interest if you move it too erratically to be a good enough substitute for prey.
So what about adding AI?
Artificial intelligence is dominating the headlines at the moment as learning computers make huge advances. Often, the test of AI has been whether it can beat a human in a game as AlphaGo did recently but in this case, AI needs to perpetuate the game, not win it. This means that instead of using an algorithm to win against a cat, this laser game is about keeping your cat occupied in chasing the light around.
Felik have done just that and created an AI-powered laser game for pets.
Here’s how it works:
The toy uses an infrared camera to track your pet’s movements and predict what they will do next. This informs the way the laser moves around the room, pausing to let your pet pounce and moving in the ‘natural’ way prey would.
Responding to your pet like this holds their attention and encourages them to play for longer. So while you might not be able to play for a long 3 hours, your kitten will still get all the running about they need to grow into strong, healthy adults and then stay that way.
This responsive design also means that each play session is unique and reacts to your pet’s current mood. So, if your kitten wants to play at hyper speed, the device will accommodate him, just as it will accommodate your elderly cat who just wants to bat about for a few minutes.
Not Just for Cats
We’ve been amazed to see that it isn’t just cats who are enamoured with the laser pointer. So, we’ve put together a short gallery of animals chasing laser pointers for your enjoyment.
Always ready to play, this great dane is all over the laser pointer game!
Not wanting to miss out on the action, all three penguins want to be the first to catch the mysterious green light.
There’s something odd about this insect…
Going round in circles and still not quite reaching the light.
Slower than most but still in pursuit of the light…
With all those eyes you’d expect the spider to be most successful!
Want to know what else you can do with lasers? See our blog!