I need a good wifi-controlled robot.
September 2, 2011 10:35 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to buy a little Internet-controlled robot I can use to monitor my cats during the day.

My cats are home all day by themselves. I'd like to check in on them via the Internet sometimes. I thought it would be cool if there was a robot or an RC car with a webcam on it that I could drive around the apartment, trying to find them.

Maybe it could make chirping noises, or maybe drop treats on the floor? That would be so cool.

All I could find that came close was the Rovio, which gets awful reviews on Amazon. It apparently doesn't have good webcam controls among other shortcomings.

Does anyone know of a product or a DIY kit close to this?
posted by Terheyden to Technology (9 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
I spied on my dog for a while with a pan-tilt-zoom webcam. That was feasible because he spent most of his time in one room.

Turns out he was really boring.
posted by gurple at 10:41 AM on September 2, 2011 [6 favorites]

What about the ConnectR?

I have a Roomba, and love it. I've never used the ConnectR but it seems like what you want.

Also, woot somewhat regularly has some surveillance kits with multiple cameras, but that might be overkill.
posted by teabag at 10:44 AM on September 2, 2011

Ah, apparently the ConnectR doesn't exist yet. Please ignore me.
posted by teabag at 10:45 AM on September 2, 2011

I don't have any roboty recommendations, but ignignokt and I sometimes set up a couple of motion-activated webcams if we need to check on our cat during the day. 90% of the activity we record is the cat changing his sleeping position.

A driveable camera would be pretty cool, but try it out with something stationary first, because many cats just snooze all day and save the interesting adventures for night.
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:57 AM on September 2, 2011

I also don't have any robot recommendations, but I work from home so I get to see what my cats do all day. Until around 4 pm, their daily activity consists entirely of sleeping and looking out various windows for brief periods until they fall asleep again. Beginning sometime around 4, they come into my office and hassle me for dinner. They really do save the excitement for after working hours.
posted by Maisie at 11:41 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

oooh what about one of those camera mounted helicopter toys they're selling. Combine that with a charging pad and a laser pointer... The possibilities!
posted by stratastar at 12:03 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

How are your technical skills? I'm almost positive that an AR Drone could be controlled remotely if you were willing to put some time into it, since the company has apparently released an SDK, though I don't know if anyone has done this yet, and it would go fast enough that latency might be a problem if you wanted to avoid crashing it into things.
posted by andrewpendleton at 4:12 PM on September 2, 2011

Not a robot, but I almost bought a WiFi Baby monitor to do exactly that based on this review from Engadget. I guess it's based on the Y-cam Knight S.
posted by fiercekitten at 10:13 PM on September 2, 2011

I have thourght about on of those "wifi robots", i was thinking about using it a huse control for when I was out traveing, you know I could just log in and then drive around the house to check if their has been a break in or something.
posted by MarkusEllek at 1:51 AM on September 3, 2011

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