There is a pet in almost half of homes in Britain, and pet tech is big business. Even so, do we really need an AI cat litter box?
Apparently so. Or at least one company exhibiting at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas thinks so.
Lulupet’s ‘smart’ litter box will actually analyse your cat’s waste, even if you have more than one cat.
The litter tray comes with ‘built-in stool and urine image recognition’ and weight analysis (to tell you if your cat is too fat).
The device has a built-in camera and infrared sensors and compares your cat’s waste to a database of images to ensure all is normal.
A paired app will show users when their cat went to the toilet, how often, and what happened, with graphs unfolding over months.
The company says: “This intelligent litter box works mainly by detecting with lenses whether the cat is urinating or littering. It not only detects littering frequency and litter weight but also the condition of the litter (normal, constipation, diarrhoea, etc.).
“After judging litter conditions through the use of AI image restoration, it uses this data to notify the owner of the cat's health.”
It’s far from the first ‘smart’ gadget for pets, with Petcube’s £150 two-way camera lets you keep an eye on your dog or cat when you’re away from home, and can be controlled via app from anywhere.
A built-in camera and speakers lets owners interact with their animals via the app.
It’s also compatible with Amazon Alexa voice commands, so owners can say, for instance, ‘Alexa, ask Petcube to treat my pet,’ or ‘Alexa, ask Petcube to play with my pet.’
A built-in treat dispenser can throw out food for pets in response to either app or Alexa commands.