French company CamToy recently launched an Indiegogo campaign for Laïka, an interactive smart companion for your dog. Laïka lets you keep an eye on your pets, play with them and give them treats, even if you aren't at home.

See at Indiegogo

How does it work?

Laïka is a little robot a bit like a Roomba that connects to the Laïka app on your smart phone. It's completely chew-proof, and is equipped with a camera, microphone, treat dispenser and speaker. It also comes with its own charging base that it rolls into when your dog has finished playing.

What can it do?

Laïka interacts with your dog in the following ways:

  • Multidirectional movement: Laïka has multidirectional movement capabilities, meaning you can control it with your phone a bit like a remote-control car in order to play with your dog in a fun and enriching way.
  • AI: Laïka learns and analyzes your furry friend's behavioral patterns and adapts to their lifestyle. While playing with your pup, Laïka will note what sort of play and rewards are successful and what fails, so it can become the best suited companion for their individual needs.
  • Self-running mode: If you're too swamped to play with your dog yourself, Laïka can be put into self-running mode via the app. In self-running mode, Laïka will roll around for you, so your dog can get some play time in even when you aren't able to be there for it.
  • Live video and on-demand recording: Laïka has an integrated HD camera that lets you check in on your pup whenever, wherever. With on-demand recording, you can also capture and share video of the cute stuff your pet does even when you aren't physically present.
  • Microphone: Laïka's built-in microphone allows you to listen to your dog so you'll know if they cry or bark while you're gone. It also recognize when your dog barks even when you aren't listening in and will send you a mobile notification letting you know noise was made so you can check in and see what the deal is.
  • Speaker: Perhaps the sweetest and most heart-melting feature of all, Laïka has an integrated speaker so you can talk to your dog while you're away. You can comfort them if they're whining, tell them they've been good, and even read them bedtime stories if that's something you guys have established as a routine for yourselves.
  • Treat tosser: Laïka is outfitted with a refillable treat tosser so you can reward your dog when you see them exhibiting good behavior (or just give them a treat because it's fun and you love them a lot). According to the company, this will also allow you to train your dog even when you're not physically around to do it:

Laïka will also be a useful tool in educating your dog. Thanks to the application you'll be able to access lots of advice to help you teach your pup some tricks like sit, lay down and speak. The best part is, Laïka will reward them once they've done it well!

Though Laïka is marketed specifically to dogs, I suspect it would be good enrichment for any medium-to-large house pet. Laïka will retail for $500, but if you support it now on Indiegogo you can get it for nearly half price — $275.

Note: Backing crowdfunded projects involves a certain level of risk. Though this project is already over 100% funded, please know that there is still a chance it may never come to fruition.

Thoughts?

How do you feel about Laïka? Leave us a comment and let us know!