People use webcams to check up on all sorts of things, but it's usually a passive activity. With a prototype that we can only hope becomes a reality, not only can you watch your pets while you're away, but you can play with them too. The PetCare Robot combines a webcam, robotic ball, and an internet remote control, so you can see what your dog is doing, and then use the remote to control the ball. The cameras are infrared to see even when the lights are out, and they're fitted with "eyelids" to protect against doggy slobber. A speaker can play sounds or even the pet-owner's voice to call the dog to play.
The balls can be set for automatic or controlled via the remote control. You can set it to release the play ball at set intervals for a certain period of time, ensuring that your pup gets exercise daily. When playtime is over, the ball returns to the robot to recharge. Taking the concept one step further, you can put a locator on your dog's collar, and the Petcare Robot will move to that location, so you can continue watching or
harrass play with your pooch.
Sure beats leaving your Rhoomba running for your pets' entertainment. Hmmm. Or maybe they can combine it with a Rhoomba — as it follows Fluffy around, it cleans up the pet hair.