Going to work is always a little hard when you have a furry friend at home, who will spend hours on their own. You leave them toys but they may go ignored. Treats are wolfed down before you pass through the front door. For the rest of the time until you come back home, all your friend can do is sleep their loneliness away. But … what if you could keep them busy and entertained during your absence? That’s what inspired the design of The Droppi, a new treat- and toy-dispensing gadget for pet owners who worry about their best friends’ emotional well-being.
Although there are already other devices that dispense treats for home-alone pets, such as the remote-controlled Pinto Feed and Kittyo, the Droppi’s designers promise a wider range of options to be auto-dispensed. These include chewing treats, dental hygiene after meals and all types of snacks. These are placed on the tray, which, at a preset time, will flip and dump the item onto the floor so the surprised pet can grab it. For those who have more than one pet, “play dates” can be set up with rope toys, so they can have a little party among themselves. Users can also record a message of up to 10 seconds, to be played at set times. The unit additionally comes with prerecorded messages, which help call pets’ attention to the device. The Droppi is designed to be installed on the wall at a height of the user’s choice. It features magnetic backings, so its location can be changed on a daily basis to add some variety.
Besides dispensing treats, the Droppi has been designed to double as a night light. An LED light will turn on when it detects sound, which should be useful in larger homes or simply as an extra design feature. The device runs on two AA batteries. Its makers are currently fundraising on Kickstarter. The early bird pledge to get a Droppi unit is $AUD35 (about US$30), and it costs another $12 AUD ($11) to ship outside of Australia. If the campaign’s funding goal is reached, The Droppi will be shipped in April 2015. The video below illustrates how the Droppi keeps a home-alone dog entertained.