Imagine this. You’ve got more than one pet. Probably a family of cats or dogs or both. You keep separate feeding bowls for each, but when you’re not around, there’s that one dastardly pet that dominates all those bowls. One pet that bullies the others and eats their food. That’s a problem, right? It’s not the most glamorous problem for technology and artificial intelligence to solve, but it’s a problem nevertheless.
Showcased at CES 2019 (and also a winner of the CES Innovation Award), Mookkie’s AI Pet Bowl takes up this unusually perplexing problem. What’s their solution? Facial recognition. The same technology that can lock and unlock smartphones now locks and unlocks the feeding bowl. A wide-angle lens captures the entire bowl as well as the animal approaching it. Artificial intelligence scans the face of the pet and determines whether it’s eaten or not. If it already has, the bowl promptly closes shut, much to the chagrin of your greedy pet… but if it’s said pet’s feeding time, the bowl opens up and lets them eat their meal. Multiple bowls work together to feed your pets, allowing only the ones who haven’t eaten to access their food, and it also allows you to see whether your pet’s eating well (if you’re the inquisitive kind). The AI behind Mookie works well enough to tell two pets apart even if they’re the same breed or a part of the same litter. Different bowls also allow you to segregate meals for your pets, given that different pets have different diets… plus the opening and closing lid makes sure that the food doesn’t gather dust or attract flies when your pet isn’t eating anymore. The Mookkie AI Pet Bowl also comes with Google Assistant support, allowing you to talk to your smartphone and give the bowl commands. Yep, we truly live in interesting times.