Oct. 13 - Animal enthusiasts can now play with cats in a far-away shelter in New York by operating remote-controlled robotic toys to entertain the animals that are up for adoption. Elly Park reports.
For folks who love the curious antics of cats but don't have any of their own, now there's a way to play -- remotely. Bideawee, a New York City based animal welfare organization, introduced remote play dates with their cats that are up for adoption. All thanks to iPet, a system that allows people to control robotic toys via the internet to watch them play, all in the comfort of their homes. Nancy Taylor is CEO of Bideawee. SOUNDBITE: Nancy Taylor, President & Ceo, Bideawee, an Animal Welfare Organization, saying (English) "I think it gives people at home or at work on their computer a great way to feel connected with live animals and in this digital age people really yearn for companionship and connection." Each user is allowed two minutes in a play date but there's no limit to how many times you can log in. Bideawee hopes that the dates will lead to real-life adoptions. The iPet Companion kit is also available for purchase for pet owners on the road or away from home. SOUNDBITE: Nancy Taylor, President & Ceo, Bideawee, an Animal Welfare Organization, saying (English) "When I travel I wonder all the time what's happening at home with my cat, is he getting along with the pet sitter, are they having fun? And with a mechanism like this I could actually see my own pet at home in real-time." The iPet kit comes with a hefty price tag though, of 850 US dollars. But for worried pet owners who have trouble parting with their furry friends it's an investment that will give them peace of mind. Elly Park, Reuters, New York.