A startup in Shenzhen, China has developed a robot that monitors and entertains cats while their owners are away.
Ebo, dubbed as the “next-generation pet companion,” comes in the size of a fist and the shape of a ball — perfect for bored kitties to play around with.
Developed by Enabot, Ebo allows cat owners to surveil and interact with their pets remotely through a mobile app.
Owners can watch their pets, chat with them, take their photos and record videos thanks to a 1080p HD camera and speaker.
Ebo’s spherical shape and laser light function allow it to roll, spin and entertain cats, keeping them mentally and physically stimulated at all times.
As an artificial intelligence, the robot is also capable of recognizing cats’ faces, following them and detecting their mood to adjust its own behavior.
“Cats love to play with Ebo robot because it moves and interacts all on its own. Not only is it adorable to watch, but Ebo actually helps prevent mental, physical, and behavioral problems by keeping cats active and entertained,” Enabot says.
“Ebo is the first smart playmate that has the ability to perfectly mimic the actions of a living thing. It interacts with your cat in the way that your cat understands—through a dynamic mix of sound, movement, and light that is always unpredictable.”
Ebo’s sensors allow it to dodge obstacles on its way and decelerate to avoid a direct crash.
When it runs low on power, it will return to its dock to recharge itself, much like a Roomba.
The robot can also track the cat’s daily step count when paired with a companion smart collar, which will start shipping next month.
With such features, Ebo can easily “function as a trainer,” according to Enabot.
“I was able to talk and interact with my cat in real-time [while I was traveling],” 30-year-old Sophia Qiao told the South China Morning Post. “My cat loves the laser teasing function … and I was able to play with Tuantuan [via Ebo] every one or two hours.”
One owner claimed that Ebo has helped their grieving cat.
“The Ebo Smart Robot has rebounded my depressed cat into kittenhood. Ms. Kitty’s partner in crime, Mr. P, died about a month ago, leaving her lethargic, bored and kneading my stomach and head. I grieved with her, but something needed to be done,”GforGadget.com, a blog dedicated to gadgets, noted. “Ebo was the purrfect Christmas present. It has solved my problem with the litter box and Ms. Kitty’s loneliness issue.”
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