iFetch allows a dog to play fetch on its own
By Dave LeClair
June 21, 2013
Playing fetch with your dog is surely one of life's high points. After a short while though, it can all get a bit tiring and just a tad boring. Your bouncing bundle of fun, on the other hand, would happily keep the game going for hours. Fortunately, technology is here to help. The iFetch from the Hamill family shoots out a ball for your dog to fetch, and when fido drops it in the opening at the top, it's fired back out again.
This interesting fetch assistant works by dropping a miniature tennis ball in the bowl up top, which causes the device to power on and launch it. Once the ball is fired out of the opening to the front, iFetch turns off so it doesn't waste any power. When the ball is dropped in the top again, by pooch or person, the process repeats. It can run on batteries or through a wall plug, so it can used at home or while out and about.
Of course, not all dogs are going to use the device on their own. It may require some training before the little tyke understands that when a ball is dropped in the device, it gets shot out of the front. The video below shows a dog named Mr. Jenkins using the iFetch, and doing a hilarious little dance while he waits for the ball.
While Mr. Jenkins requires a little human assistance for his game, the Hamill family uses a different dog by the name of Beaker to really show the iFetch at its best. In the following video, the miniature dachshund is able to play with the device with very little human interaction. Beaker was actually 11 years old when he first started using the iFetch, proving that you really can teach an old dog new tricks.
iFetch has an adjustable range for shooting its mini tennis balls. Users can choose between 10, 20, and 30 feet (3, 6 and 9 m), so it can be used inside or out. Because it uses miniature balls, the Hamills recommend using the device for small- to medium-sized dogs.
The Hamills have turned to Kickstarter to get iFetch into the hands of dog-loving consumers. It has already passed it's US$20,000 goal with over three weeks left in the funding period. Both early bird specials have now gone, so backers will now need to stump up at least $75 to reserve a device. Shipping is estimated to start in November.
The Kickstarter pitch below provides more information on the iFetch.