Leaving your dog at home for extended periods is nerve-racking for most dog owners and even dogs themselves. Many dogs suffer from anxiety when left home alone. What if there was a way you could keep an eye on your pooch, while keeping him entertained all the while, ensuring he’s been fed as well?

A new robot unveiled this week at CES2024, promises to reduce these worries by being your pet’s companion when you can’t physically be there. The robot is ORo and it can communicate, comfort and even play with your pet at the times you can’t. ORo aren’t reinventing the wheel here, think of this as a repurposed robot vacuum cleaner. The technology has been available for sometime which is actually what makes this robot seem closer to reality.

The two way video monitor allows you to communicate directly with your dog and the treat dispenser allows you to interact in a positive way, rewarding good behaviour. This constant positive reinforcement can only help to ensure that your dog is behaving while left alone. Caught up late at work? No stress for the dog waiting at home, simply release a meal from the ORo on command or set it to a schedule.

The ball throwing fetch feature is pretty cool but could take a bit of training to get your dog to bring it back to ORo. It shoots a ball out of its belly, stimulating the dog in a fun way. If your dog likes to roam the house during the day, fear not, with ORo using the onboard sensors and camera to navigate and stay close by at all times.

Now I’m a little sceptical about the AI machine learning feature that claims to deliver the ability of learning about your family pooch’s behaviours and responding with playing soothing music when feeling distressed or jumps into action when theres a willingness to play. Time will tell whether this is a good example of Artificial Intelligence in action.

No actual release date as yet but a promising sign of the future and a highlight of CES2024.

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