A Robot that Plays Ball and Never Gets Tired

iFetch is the another Kickstarter success story – the idea behind it came to Austin born schoolboy Grant when his dog Prancer a poodle, kept bothering him to play ball when he was trying to do his homework. Grant, who sounds both studious and clever, then came up with the idea for an automatic ball thrower that would keep Prancer amused and let him finish his work. He spoke about it to his Grandfather Denny, who loved the idea of a family project (what a fantastic Grandfather) and in June 2013 the Hamill family launched their Kickstarter campaign. Within 30 days they had 1000 backers and had raised $88,000, four times the amount they’d initially aimed for.

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 10.31.54 AMMr Jenkins checking out his iFetch

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 10.33.28 AMToby looking at where the balls come from

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 10.33.51 AMLacy ready to start playing 

So what is it exactly?

It’s a plastic device that you can train your dog to drop miniature tennis balls into that then shoots them in the air for the dog to retrieve and then place back into the device for the game to continue.

Hmm that sounds great but how easy is it to train your dog to actually do that?

Much easier than you’d imagine. Your dog retrieves the tennis ball and in exchange for a treat drops the tennis ball in the iFetch hole the ball then fires out again for the dog to retrieve and put back in the hole. After a few times, most dogs get the hang of it.

What does it run off?

Either the mains or batteries. The batteries last for roughly 30 hours (far longer than any doggie wants to play hopefully).

How many balls does it come with?

It comes with 3 miniature tennis balls and most pet shops sell replacement balls.

What about big dogs?

iFetch are in the middle of designing one that would be better for bigger dogs.

What if I live in an apartment. I don’t want tennis balls flying out of the window.

You can set iFetch to throw the ball either 10, 20 or 30 feet.

OK I’m sold how much are they?

£123.99 and they deliver internationally

If you’d like to buy one you can find them at iFetch

 

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