Cats are inherently wild animals, and keeping them indoors is still a relatively recent trend. This means they haven’t lost their instinct to hunt – up to 20 times a day in the wild – but our modern-day, indoor kittehs have no outlet for that instinct.
We’re all for keeping cats indoors – both for their own safety and for the protection of native birds – but not being able to hunt as their ancestors did can cause bad behaviour, destructiveness, laziness and cantankerous disposition (though that may just be cats in general).
To combat this feline boredom, the crazy cat people at Petronics have invented the “most technologically advanced cat toy ever to exist” and named it, appropriately, Mousr.
We're trying out our new custom control interface with the Alpha Jeep. Onboard sensors track Mousr's orientation, which simplifies driving and provides traction control. It's not exactly Tom and Jerry in your living room just yet, but we're getting close!
Posted by Petronics on Saturday, 28 February 2015
Mousr is an adorable, mouse-shaped, computer-driven, mobile cat-toy, with a fluffy tail that actively plays with your kitty.
The Illinois-based team behind Mousr introduce themselves as having “14 years of combined graduate level experience in digital signal processing, non-stationary signal analysis, adaptive filters, biologically inspired signal processing, low-power systems, and 3D audio localisation.” Plus, they’re really into cats.
The designers spent a lot of time in China learning about robotics, perfecting the design and enjoying the benefits of the country’s manufacturing industry for the prototyping process.
It uses 360-degree ‘vision’ and motion-sensing technology to sense and dodge your cat accurately, and uses external force sensors to know when it’s been caught.
Bluetooth lets you control Mousr with an app from your smartphone when you want to play with your cat, but controls itself when you don’t have the time or energy. It also connects to WiFi for regular updates, which means it’s constantly ‘learning’ and getting smarter.
Mousr’s prototype was completed in June 2014, and was on Kickstarter by November that year, earning $116,965 in backing before shipping in October 2015.
If you’re after one, unfortunately the company’s “first manufacturing run is now full”, but you can sign up to preorder the next run at the company’s website.