Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Pets

Students at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine can train in a simulation ...

Medical students have been honing their skills on human simulations for years and Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine has been using the world's first robotic dog simulator Robo-Jerry II and Robo-Fluffy, his feline counterpart, to give aspiring vets experience since 2010. The robo-pets now have a new home in the form of a new robotic simulation center the University claims is the first of its kind in the world, with work underway on a more advanced robotic dog called "Butch" that will boast more realistic features and which will run on cheap, standard components.  Read More

The ECO-Cycle Aquaponics Kit lets users raise plants and filter their aquarium's water at ...

The folks at the non-profit ECOLIFE Foundation are dedicated to providing, as they put it, “ecologically sustainable water, food, and shelter to communities through education applied programs.” Part of this mandate involves the promotion of community aquaponics projects – systems that symbiotically combine aquaculture and hydroponics. Now, the group is bringing scaled-down aquaponics to classrooms and homes, in the form of its ECO-Cycle Aquaponics Kit for aquariums.  Read More

South Korean designer Seungji Mun has continued his trend of animal friendly furniture wit...

South Korean designer Seungji Mun has continued his trend of animal friendly furniture with his latest “Dog House Sofa” creation. We interviewed Mun in August when his interactive Cat Tunnel Sofa caught our eye, and he has subsequently lived up to his word of creating a design that he hopes will raise awareness about the issue of abandoned dogs.  Read More

The bagless (left) and bagged versions of the Zoo'o ProAnimal at IFA

If you own a dog or cat, you might wonder why people who don’t own one even need a vacuum cleaner – after all, aren’t pet fur and paw-dirt pretty much entirely what vacuums are used to clean up? Well, if that were the case, you’d think that it wouldn’t be so hard to get them to pull the fur out of your carpets and upholstery. That’s where Bosch’s new Zoo'o ProAnimal vacuum comes into the picture. As its vaguely Irish-sounding name implies, it’s optimized for sucking up animal hair.  Read More

The Cat Tunnel Sofa features a play tunnel that runs along the arm, back and side of the s...

South Korean designer Seungji Mun has created a sofa concept that is designed to keep your cat happy as you sit back and relax. Dubbed the Cat Tunnel Sofa, the concept tries to provide a fluid harmony between the daily activities of pets and their owners. “For humans, the cat tunnel sofa is just a comfortable sofa, but for the cats, it is their playground and a comfortable bed,” Seungji Mun told Gizmag.  Read More

SmartPet recently impressed judges at the 2012 Tokyo Toy Show, where it scooped the innova...

It's said that dogs are man's best friend, but in recent years it feels like pooches have lost this role to ever-present and reliable smartphones. So, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that someone has combined the two. The SmartPet is a toy which, with the addition of your iPhone, becomes a cartoon-faced pet dog robot.  Read More

Jordan Correa, a robotics developer with Microsoft, built a dog-sitting robot that lets th...

When Jordan Correa and his wife both started working full time, they found themselves away from their home much more often, leaving their dog, Darwin, alone all day. Most people would have just had to leave the problem as is, or maybe get a part time pet sitter. But Correa, being a test developer for the Microsoft Robotics Team, came up with a solution right in line with his talents and built a dog-sitting robot, so he could play and speak with his pet over the internet while he's at work.  Read More

Artist Miles Lightwood is the leader of Project Shellter, a crowd-sourced effort to design...

If you’ve ever bought a pet hermit crab, then you may remember also having to buy several sea shells with it. This is because the crabs don’t have shells of their own, and instead have to find empty shells from other creatures and use those. As a hermit crab grows, it’ll need to upsize to larger shells, hence the need to supply it with multiple choices. Unfortunately, every empty shell gathered for the pet trade is one less for the wild hermit crabs to move into. In places where the beaches have been picked clean, the crabs have reportedly resorted to using things such as bottles and shotgun shells. That’s where Miles Lightwood’s Project Shellter comes in – he’s hoping to design 3D printed shells for use in the pet industry, and is seeking ideas from interested artists and designers.  Read More

iPet Companion Home Version allows people to remotely play with their pets in real time, v...

If you own a dog or a cat and are having a hard day at work, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to take a break and play with them? Well, if you’ve got the money, now you can do it – via the internet. A consumer version of a system already in use at some U.S. animal shelters, iPet Companion Home Version lets computer users remotely control dog or cat toys located in their home, watching their pets reacting to those toys’ movements in real time. For some people, it could be the biggest workplace distraction since Facebook.  Read More

The Supercollar is a dog collar with a built-in retractable leash(Photo: Bright IP Concept...

The humble dog collar might seem like something that couldn't really be improved upon in any significant way, but ... what if you combined it with a leash? Well, what you'd end up with is the Supercollar. It's a polypropylene collar, with a three-foot (0.9-meter) retractable leash built into it. Perhaps not necessary in all situations, but there a few where it might come in handy.  Read More

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