Egg hatches plan to entertain cats
Egg is a plastic toy that replicates the movement and sounds of a small animal
The challenge of keeping an indoor cat occupied while its owners are away during the day has certainly produced some interesting efforts. The Solar Chaser uses the power of the sun to form a perpetually bobbing kitty toy, while the Cat DJ Scratching Deck serves as a potential launching pad for your feline's highly anticipated music career. The team behind Egg, a "cat companion" that mimics a small animal's movements, has hatched a different sort of plan.
Egg is a plastic-coated toy that responds to your cat's actions by replicating the movement and sounds of a small animal. Using a built-in gear motor to turn an offset weight, Egg rolls backwards and forwards over the floor while making animal-like sounds.
An on-board angular sensor on the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) enables the device to detect and adjust to different floor types, obstacles and your cat's interactions. The company says Egg will know when it is tapped, grabbed and pounced upon and will perform evasive maneuvers to keep kitty chasing it, rather than its own tail.
While still at the development stage, the company aims to deliver the Egg with a battery that provides power for one day of active play. It can be recharged through a Micro USB port that can also be used to connect the device to a computer (Windows or Mac) to configure Egg to operate in different modes.
Egg is currently the subject of a Kickstarter project with US$31 pledges still available with shipping estimated for June 2014 if all goes to plan.
You can see Egg in action in the video below.
About the Author
Nick was born outside of Melbourne, Australia, with a general curiosity that has drawn him to some distant (and very cold) places. Somewhere between enduring a winter in the Canadian Rockies and trekking through Chilean Patagonia, he graduated from university and pursued a career in journalism. Having worked for publications such as The Santiago Times and The Conversation, he now writes for Gizmag from Melbourne, excited by tech and all forms of innovation, the city's bizarre weather and curried egg sandwiches.
All articles by Nick Lavars
Video doesn't show much in the way of evasive manoeuvres, avoiding getting trapped under furniture or any more excitement from the cats than a ping pong ball might induce. Nice idea but by the looks of it, poor execution
I agree with Richard. Also it doesn't look too enticing. They'll need a better more convincing video to get me on board.
This was a practice video. When are they making the actual demo?
Don't attach lasers, or you'll get sued: http://www.google.com.au/patents/US5443036
What do we think of this gadget, cat people? It surpassed its goal on Kickstarter with gusto (goal: $15K / raised: $170K). Sometimes we use a HexBug to amuse MaddieCat, although it's pretty small and can get into tiny places if left unsupervised.
It looks pretty cool but I think it needs more movement. I think cats would lose interest pretty quick. Nice idea though.
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