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Remotely Pat Your Pet With Kinect and a Wiimote

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the petting-at-a-distance dept.

Robotics 53

MrSeb writes "Taylor Valtrop, an enterprising roboticist with a penchant for kitties, has crafted the mother of all Kinect (and Wiimote!) hacks: The teleoperation of a robot to groom a cat. Using a Nao, a $15,000 robot; a treadmill (for moving the robot forward); a head-mounted display (to see what the robot sees); Kinect (for tracking his movements); and two Wiimotes (to move the robot's hands), Valtrop is able to pat a cat with surprising accuracy and gentleness (except for where he accidentally hits the cat in the face)."

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predictable result (5, Funny)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38577086)

By the end of the video the cat is pretty annoyed and trying to attack the robot...

Re:predictable result (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38577488)

To be fair, based on my experiences with cats, that would have happened regardless of whether it was a person or a robot trying to pet it.

Re:predictable result (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38577534)

Obviously, you've never owned a cat. Depending on the cat it may do that to the "owner" anyway. There's only so much brushing that my own cat can take before it's ready to attack.

Re:predictable result (2)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#38577884)

And unless you've got huge seriously bleeding gashes, it's not an attack, but mere play. Cats don't have a good sense of how far they can go during play; they think they're pulling their punches, but those claws are so sharp they still hurt.

But will he let anyone else pet his kitty? (4, Funny)

I.S.Bear (1156485) | more than 2 years ago | (#38577088)

make it internet interactive too :)

You are going to need an easy going cat. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38577126)

Most cats or dogs, Will run and hide in fear of that robot chasing after them. When cornered they will try to attack.

Congratulations for $15k you have shorten your beloved pets life.

Re:You are going to need an easy going cat. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38577218)

Most clauses of this type, don't require a comma.

Re:You are going to need an easy going cat. (2)

ElKry (1544795) | more than 2 years ago | (#38577424)

Most people with bad grammar, get scared when corrected. Congratulations on shortening, that guy's lifespan.

Re:You are going to need an easy going cat. (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 2 years ago | (#38578816)

Nor do they require a capital letter in the proceeding word...

Re:You are going to need an easy going cat. (1)

paleo2002 (1079697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38577350)

My dog was deathly afraid of the vacuum. I can't imagine most pets tolerating something like this.

However, if you can convince them that a sexy woman is running the robot, lonely mmo-addicts will pay huge amounts of money for this kind of interaction.

Re:You are going to need an easy going cat. (2)

darthdavid (835069) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582928)

We used to have a Husky that liked getting his fur vacuumed. Some animals will put up with a lot more than others...

Overlords? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38577134)

If cats have us going to this much trouble to brush them, I'd say it's pretty good evidence they're in control.

My cat doesn't even care if *I* pet him. (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38577154)

At least he can't regard the Kinect with any less aloofness than he already does me.

Re:My cat doesn't even care if *I* pet him. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38577382)

You mean any more aloofness?

alternative projects from roboticists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38577204)

Surely there are some robot hobbyists that have done something similar cheaper?

Uh, yeah... (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38577228)

My cat would run in mortal terror from that thing. Hell, I would run in mortal terror from that thing if it was scaled up to my size and coming at me like that....

Re:Uh, yeah... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38577696)

Exactly. Kinda reminds me of Disneyland. Us adults see a cute cartoon character. Kids see a giant rat. And parents wonder why they're crying.

Re:Uh, yeah... (3, Interesting)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38580064)

I have had conversations with my child (now 7) about his severe dislike of the people in character costumes. He only recently stopped avoiding them. He was very clear that he was never afraid of giant rats/bears/rabbits/etc... He was very clear that he always knew that they were people in costumes. He was just freaked out by PEOPLE in giant animal costumes.

Re:Uh, yeah... (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 2 years ago | (#38578642)

[as Max piloting the Leonov's pod approaches the Monolith]
Dr. Heywood Floyd: Maybe Max should extend the pod's arms. Put the hands out.
Dr. Vasili Orlov: Are you serious?
Dr. Heywood Floyd: Yes.
Walter Curnow: I don't know about you, but that thing with its claws in the air would scare the piss out of me.
Dr. Heywood Floyd: Maybe you're right.

Why the Wiimotes? (1)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 2 years ago | (#38577386)

I thought the point of the kinect was that it followed body motion and last time I checked hands were part of the body.

Now if the Kinect doesn't get pick up the brush and rotate the hand/wrist I guess I can understand.

However I think I'd like a Kinect and a Robosapien setup that let me have a mini-me running around the house virtually, though I think I'd use a footpedal on and off to move it forward instead of a treadmill.

When I first saw the image I thought it was a Robosapien, I'm not convinced its a $15,000 robot maybe the whole setup, but even that seems extreme. For $15,000 I want one of those Japanese pancake/omlet cooking robots.

Kinect's Point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38577548)

Kinect's point is to sit gathering dust next to people's old useless HD-DVD, Pet Rocks, fad exercise equipement in junk closets everywhere.

Re:Why the Wiimotes? (1)

thepike (1781582) | more than 2 years ago | (#38577778)

Yeah, I thought that too at first. But I have to assume the point is that the kinect can see if you lift the hand, but not how to orient it it. Plus the buttons on the wiimotes give a way to open and close the fingers.

Applications for virtual sex? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38577432)

Surely this could revolutionize Craig's list.

Re:Applications for virtual sex? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#38577940)

There is dedicated hardware and online communities for that already.

Re:Applications for virtual sex? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38578192)

Now any geek can pet some pussy and still never actually touch one . . . (insert image of forever alone guy meme thing)

Re:Applications for virtual sex? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634026)

Don't even need a robot or a woman, just a server with a script cuing short video clips depending on user action. maybe such a thing has already been done, the porn version of the original christmas light controlling scam.

"Cat got your tongue?", how apropos! (1)

pla (258480) | more than 2 years ago | (#38577454)

Yeah, I don't see that inspiring terror in any reasonable cat.

Y'know, the same critters that consider the vacuum cleaner their nemesis; that try to eviscerate the computer when a CD pops out unexpectedly (to them); that will barely allow a live human to pet them and only when in the right mood?

Re:"Cat got your tongue?", how apropos! (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 2 years ago | (#38579158)

Just the thought reminds me of the new The Outer Limits episode "Simon Says" [youtube.com] , where a boy put in a robot body had somehow pet a cat to death.

Demon Seed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38577540)

For some reason the movie Demon Seed [imdb.com] came to mind. No doubt in 6 months time the cat will give birth to a master race of long-cats [wordpress.com] for a final apocalyptic battle.

Rule 34! (2)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38577674)

Combine with Wolowitz's robot hand...

...but seriously, what pet wants to be petted by a robot? If that actually worked, I could program the robot to pet the dog periodically, and just ignore it. At least, until the dog buries the pieces in the back yard.

Problem (2)

Sez Zero (586611) | more than 2 years ago | (#38577680)

...with a penchant for kitties...

That's his problem right there.

Re:Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38578106)

Yeah because the sick weirdos who hate cats for absolutely no reason are so much better.

Re:Problem (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 2 years ago | (#38584416)

I don't hate cats, but most/some (haven't got good statistics) aren't really good pets. If you can't convince it to stay in your own back yard it isn't a good pet.
Haven't had trouble with my current dog or her mother, they destroy cats if they get half a chance.
I do believe some cats can be good pets, those are the ones that stay in their owner's back yard.

Re:Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38586980)

I don't hate women, but most/some (haven't got good statistics) aren't really good girlfriends. If you can't convince her to stay in your own kitchen she isn't a good girlfriend.

Re:Problem (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 2 years ago | (#38593926)

Women can understand the need not to poop in the neighbour's garden.
Women will not eat the neighbour's birds.
Women will (unless really drunk or clumsy) not damage the neighbour's property.

I can understand the need for a controlling wife, but a controlling cat is just a bad idea. Cats are not intelligent enough to be in control (unless you have a back yard that's large enough).

Re:Problem (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 2 years ago | (#38693462)

Indoor cats have no problem staying out of your neighbor's yard, and often are much safer than outdoor pets (depending on the presence/lethality of local predators, or the volume of traffic near your home).

Minor correction to title: (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#38577854)

Remotely Pat Your Pet With Kinect, Two Wiimotes, Treadmill, HUD, Computer, and $15,000 Robot

Re:Minor correction to title: (2)

johanwanderer (1078391) | more than 2 years ago | (#38579044)

... and an assistant to hold the pet.

Re:Minor correction to title: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38684368)

That robot isn't $15,000. You could find it at Best Buy for under $400 almost five years ago.

Terrible idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38577912)

If this is all the time you can spend with your companion animal perhaps you shouldn't own one.

Remotely pet your girls kitty with a hairbrush? (2)

phayes (202222) | more than 2 years ago | (#38578046)

Sure, I can see that as becoming popular, just with another of your girlfriends personal hygiene tools...

Re:Remotely pet your girls kitty with a hairbrush? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38578174)

Kyle: I didn't know she had a cat.

Re:Remotely pet your girls kitty with a hairbrush? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38587662)

I imagine some companies in the San Fernando Valley would love to incorporate this technology into their pay-per-view sites.

this has been done before better - with chickens (1)

pieterbos (2218218) | more than 2 years ago | (#38578376)

Google for 'Adrian Cheok chicken', or the poultry internet. Without kinect, but with a plastic chicken...

And dangerous (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38578746)

It won’t be long until every household has a cheap, teleoperated robot that can be logged into remotely, mark my words.

and what happens when its hacked ?

your kidding.... (1)

Valcrus (1242564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38579030)

No pet I have ever had would stand for this without someone holding them down. Even my cat that will let you do anything you want to it would get up an run like hell if that robot started walking towards him.

Something more reasonably priced? (1)

some1somewhere (642060) | more than 2 years ago | (#38579624)

Sure if you have $15k burning a hole in your pocket by all means get a fully articulated robot. But for the rest of us, is there something similar that connects via WiFi? Only things I can think of are Robosapien (doesn't work via Wifi)...

Re:Something more reasonably priced? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38581252)

http://kevinhaw.com/RoboSapienServer.php
arduino kit etc. nice.

Bubbles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38580020)

Didn't Bubbles create one of these out of old shopping carts? eh?

And the 2011 "Sheldon Cooper" award goes too... (2)

AngryDill (740460) | more than 2 years ago | (#38581370)

...the Kinect-a-kitty!

The name's VELTROP. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38581950)

The name's VELTROP.

Does the cat need to be held down? (1)

cyn1c77 (928549) | more than 2 years ago | (#38582096)

...because that ruins his credibility.

Also, will someone always be around to give his little robot the cat brush?

My dog would destroy that thing if it tried to pet her when no one was home.

For you ADD kids out there... (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 2 years ago | (#38613252)

Skip to 3:20 for the cat punch.
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