Dog toys go digital at CES tech show in Las Vegas

Previously if your dog was lonely, you would buy him a canine companion or spend more time with him. In 2018 you can buy a robot friend-cum-surveillance device to monitor him while you are away.

The Laïka robot resembles a small, trundling plastic barrel, equipped with a camera, microphone and “treat-tosser”. This £220 chew-proof machine will help to look after your pet while you’re away, allowing you to see him, talk to him and dole out treats. You can control it using a mobile app, or put it into autonomous mode when you’re busy. It is paired with a tracker on the dog’s collar and endeavours to keep him entertained by following him around, playing games. It is powered by artificial intelligence and, according to creators, the French start-up Camtoy, the algorithm adapts to your dog’s personality, learning what’s best at keeping him stimulated.

Meanwhile, California startup Anthouse’s robotic dog companion Buddy+ resembles a small tank equipped with a tennis ball launcher for games of fetch. The company behind Petcube, a treat-dispensing connected camera, has new pet-detection technology that uses artificial intelligence to “recognise pets, trigger recording of pet selfie videos and initiate two-way video calls”.

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