As a pet parent, it isn’t easy to leave your favorite furry creature at home when you step out for work. There’s constant stress and pangs of guilt. Will they be okay? Are they missing me? What if something bad happens?
It gets worse if we work weekends or make extended plans with friends. Our pets shouldn’t have to suffer just because of our irresponsibility.
Singapore-based Pebby feels it has a solution up its sleeve. It’s built a robotic pet system that allows pet parents to interact with and entertain their animals from anywhere in the world.
At the heart of this system is the “Pebby Ball,” which connects to your wifi and can be controlled via its companion app. The gizmo has a wide-angle video camera embedded into it and is powered by three lithium-ion batteries, giving it approximately 1.5 hours of playtime.
It also includes built-in speakers, a laser toy, and LED lights.
Other neat features include the option to livestream your pet’s current activity – akin to how baby monitors function – as well as an “Auto Play” mode that keeps your pet entertained. Users can also sign up for notifications that tell them when their pet starts playing with Pebby or if there’s any barking.
The final piece of Pebby’s pet system is a smart wearable that works just like Fitbit does for humans. It’ll track your pet’s daily activity and ping you with insights into the behavior and health of the animal.
“We discovered the need for such a device as it’s a real problem affecting all pet parents nowadays. Our team is filled with people who are dog-parents and kitty-parents so we know the daily struggle,” explains Hansen Goh, co-founder. “We strongly believe a system like Pebby would be able to bring them together closer and foster more interaction.”
The device took approximately two years to go from the idea to the product stage. The team built seven prototypes before settling on this one – which was made possible via support from government development grants. Since then it’s also raised approximately US$1 million in seed funding from angel investors.
Pebby’s Kickstarter launches today with a goal of US$50,000. Early bird pet systems are available for US$124. Hansen says manufacturing has already commenced in Taiwan due to the sheer number of pre-orders that they’ve generated. If the Kickstarter exceeds its target, production might be shifted to Shenzhen.
“We have also carried out extensive surveys in Southeast Asia […] Asian countries have shown a very high demand for pet innovation. Nonetheless, we will be rolling out Pebby into the USA and Southeast Asia through our identified ecommerce retailers and wholesalers,” adds Hansen.
The entrepreneur feels there’s a big gap in existing pet innovation, especially in the areas of pet sensory and wearable technology. He explains that work has already begun on future iterations of the product as well as more accessories that can be integrated into the system.