It’s hard to imagine what some cat owners wouldn’t do for their feline companions. A YouTuber designed a robot to monitor her cat’s bathroom breaks. Stinking cute, dare we say.
Estefannie is a Mexican YouTuber living in the United States. She has an engineering- and technology-oriented blog and YouTube channel, where she details the creation of her outlandish robot creations.
Her latest machine? An artificial intelligence-powered machine supposed to follow her cat’s activities in the bathroom. This machine, which she built over two years, follows the habits of her pet thanks to various sensors, an infrared camera, a mini-computer, and about 50,000 photos of cat feces.
The imaginative woman created the robot after discovering that her cat Teddy had consumed plastic. Estefannie adopted the puss years ago.
Before his adoption, Teddy lived on the streets for nine years. Like his mistress says, the moggy had an eventful life.
Last year, Estefannie caught her long-haired cat chewing plastic. The cat owner has valid reasons to be concerned since the material can be hazardous for pets.
Minor side effects from plastic intake include vomiting and abdominal cramping; major side effects include intestinal obstruction that may necessitate surgery.
Plastic ingestion also presents the risk of suffocation. On top of that, when hard plastic objects are masticated, they have the potential to cause injury to the delicate oral tissues.
Estefannie invents the poop monitor
Estefannie brought Teddy to the vet, although the caretaker couldn’t exactly tell how much plastic the feline had eaten. An additional procedure to find out would cost over $3000, a sum the Youtuber couldn’t afford.
The other option was to check whether Teddy could defecate or not. If the furball did, it would suggest he wasn’t suffering from constipation and would be fine.
Teddy’s mother thought like an engineer. She wanted a device that could track her pet’s habits to see if he was constipated or not.
In practice, this device detects which of her cats—Luna or Teddy Bear—goes to the bathroom. In addition to recording the time and date, the software also snaps a photo of the cats’ excrement.
Estefannie also took the occasion to remodel the cats’ bathroom. If Teddy was going to empty his bowels, he’d better do it in style.
“Don’t ask me about my sanity. I did it for science,” she explains mischievously.
The entire project, from inception to finish, lasted two years. Estefannie now has detailed data on her felines’ litter activities, complete with prediction.
Most importantly, the developer knows when to take these pusses to the vets. That’s one dedicated cat parent, for sure.
For any tech-savvy readers looking to reproduce the poop monitor, the thoughtful Estefannie left a detailed script on her blog.