CES 2024 has gone to the dogs—and birds

CES 2024 opens this week in Las Vegas featuring hundreds of vendors of electronics devices-- not only consumer products--including some of the biggest names in tech like Bosch, Intel, Siemens and Qualcomm. But there are also startups that offer products covering mobility to health to gaming and TVs.

A few will display new smart tech to better take care of Fido and hungry backyard birds.

One startup, Ogmen Robotics, based in Massachusetts, showed off ORo, a robotic assistant for dogs with autonomous mobility  that moves about a room, can throw a ball and uses AI connected to the robot’s camera and microphone to know what the dog is doing.

CEO Divye Bhotani told Fierce that the company relied on animal behaviorists to help decide how to best engage man’s best friend especially when they are home alone and could be suffering from separation anxiety.  Videos on the company website show dogs playing with the robot, and Bhotani said it could be used for dog training. 

The robot weighs 33 pounds and runs on a 6-core Arm Cortex 64-bit CPU. Sensors include a lidar sensor cliff sensors, proximity sensors and cameras. Charge time is 120 minutes.  A tablet-sized display serves as the face of the robot and it can be used to stream a video of a person speaking to a pet.

ORo will go on sale through pet stores and other retailers in April for $899, with a monthly subscription for $15-30, he said.  The package includes a mobile robot but also a food container that measures out the correct amount of food at precise times that dog owners can monitor.

Elsewhere at a CES preview event for journalists on Sunday, France-based Invoxia

showed off Minitailz, a smart pet collar that provides live GPS tracking and has sensors that also provide a doggy heart health scan and Afib detection. Sensors are matched with AI capabilities that can determine when a bad heart reading is detected, said spokesman Clement Moreau. The device sells for $99 which does not include a separate monthly subscription cost.

Separately, a streaming music service from a Japanese company called One by One is in early startup mode, offering music chosen to soothe dogs, especially those that are lonely or experiencing anxiety, said spokeswoman Erika Ogura.  The service will sell for $8 a month, with the tempo and melody adjusted for different dog species. In the future, the company plans to sell smart speakers streaming the special content and it hopes to expand the service to other animal breeds, perhaps cows and other animals on farms.

Also, China-based Birdfy showed off its outdoor smart bird feeder that includes a motion-sensitive camera to provide close-ups of wild birds feeding on seeds with alerts sent to a smartphone along with still images, video  and audio of the birds.

 With AI, Birdfy is able to determine the bird species, although the company recently admitted to customers that its AI classifications were not always accurate. “We’re working on it,” the company said in a notice posted on its customer app.

The Birdfy feeder currently sells for $129 and the app is free.   A solar panel to charge the camera is sold separately.