Sometimes you read about all the new gadgets at CES and have FOMO because you’re not there, and other times you read about an AI cat litter box.
LuluPet says that it has the world’s first litter box with “built-in stool and urine image recognition” to analyze cats’... deposits. The goal of the Taiwan-based company’s gadget is to help monitor a cat’s health, “to help your cat to live a healthier life.” If you have multiple cats, LuluPet’s device can determine which poop is from which cat because you don’t want Mittens taking credit for Fluffy’s work.
Here’s how it works: the cat walks into the semi-enclosed litter box, and then the data is sent back to the app for the owner to monitor. The smart litter box is Alexa- and Google Home-enabled (though what’s the prompt there: “Alexa, did Fluffy just drop a dookie?”). It can weigh your cat in order to, as LuluPet founder James Wu says in this video, determine if the cat is too fat or needs more food or water.
LuluPet’s is not the first smart cat litter box, and not even the only one at this year’s CES. But while the majority of smart litter boxes focus on automatic cleanup of the cat’s deposits and the resulting odor, LuluPet’s device is aimed at helping improve the cat’s overall health. It has a built-in camera (apparently you can watch live via its connected smartphone app), as well as infrared and weight sensors to determine whether the cat did number one or number two. The images from the event are compared with images of other cats’ excrement in LuluPet’s database to make sure all is normal. Yes, I just wrote that sentence.
The overall goal of LuluPet’s smart litter box is a good one. Cats aren’t always the most forthcoming creatures when they’re not feeling well, and often by the time they show symptoms, they may be in the advanced stages of an illness. Mind you, all the felines I’ve ever known would take one look at the camera and destroy it or spray it — or find somewhere else to conduct their business (like your bed or your shoes). But LuluPet’s database that compares and analyzes your pet’s health reminds me a bit of a WebMD for pets; that is, a site that gives way too much health information to people not really trained to make a proper diagnosis.
We reached out to LuluPet for more details on the device and will report back if we get more info. The smart litter box reportedly will go on sale on Amazon for $149 in March.