Amazon engineer Ben Hamm is a cat owner with a very typical cat owner problem. His cat, named Metric, likes to bring home dead or half dead game home. Metric is like every other cats; he loves to hunt even though he is well fed. You can’t blame Metric. He’s merely a cat doing what cats do, much to his human friend’s displeasure. Hamm needed to put a stop to this and after failing find a solution that fits Metric, Hamm got creative and in a very high-tech way.
To stop his home from becoming the morgue for Metric’s hunt, Hamm modified the pet door to include a locking motor, powered by an Arduino, as well as AI and machine learning to enable the door to lock itself if it detects the cat is bringing ‘food’ home.
The pet door works with an Amazon DeepLens AI-enabled camera ($249) and after several months and 23,000 labelled images, the high-tech pet door is finally commissioned and put to the test. At the time of Hamm’s presentation at Ignite Seattle, the AI pet door has been running for 5 weeks and so far, out 180 times used, Metric has been “unfairly locked out once.”
On the other hand, the contraption has managed to stop it from bringing in its hunt 5 out of 6 times. So, it is fair to say that this pet door of the future works as intended. Technology is smart, but so are cats. Sooner or later, Metric is going to learn that when he brings his meal home, you will have to enter via another route. Just saying… Skip ahead to watch the 5 minutes plus Hamm’s presentation interjected with good humor. Trust me. You will not regret watching it.
Images: YouTube (Ignite Settle).