Thursday, February 16, 2012
Remote Pet Care - The Multi-Billion $ Business
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” — Mahatma Gandhi
According to the 2011-2012 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 62% of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 72.9 millions homes. There are about 86 million cats and 78 million dogs owned in the U.S.
The $50 Billion Pet Market
In 2011 Americans spend an astonishing $50 billion on their furry friends. Food: $19.53 billion, supplies/OTC Medicine $11.4 billion, Vet Care $14.11 billion, live animal purchases $2.15 billion and Pet Services: grooming & boarding: $3.65 billion
High-tech products including computerized identification tags, digital aquarium kits, automatic doors and feeders, enhanced reptile terrarium lighting systems and touch-activated toys help pet-owners take care of companion animals with ease and precision.
Remote Pet Care Services
In the connected world of the future pets might become the new stars for remote pet care service. The pioneer is Jordan Correa, a developer at Micorsoft’s robotics division, who has developed a telepresence robot that he uses to interact with his dog Darwin at home. The robot called DarwinBot, is based on a Parallax EDDIE chasis and programmed with the Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 4. The bot has several tools built in, such as a treat dispenser, a ball-launching ballista, a ball-retrieving robotic arm, and speakers so Darwin can hear his master’s voice. Using the onboard slate PC, Skype, and a pan-and-tilt webcam, Correa can watch and talk to his dog, can feed it and manipulate a ball. The bot also packs a Kinect camera system on top for obstacle avoidance and a downward facing webcam for ball retrieval. The whole thing is controlled over the Internet with an XBox 360 controller. Check out the video below.