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iFetch: Ball launcher keeps dog drool off you

The iFetch automatic ball launcher lets your pooch decide when to play and for how long. It also keeps your fingers drool free.

Pooch with iFetch
This little nipper has been playing with a prototype.

Dog ownership is full of delight and responsibiltiy. Dogs require a long-term commitment to love and play with them. For those days when you don't feel like tossing a drool-slathered ball, there will soon be a machine to do it for you.

The iFetch on Kickstarter has already more than doubled its funding goal.

Automatic ball-tossing machines aren't new. Intrepid dog-loving makers have been crafting their own devices and sharing them on YouTube for some time. For those who don't have the inclination or skills to DIY it, the iFetch could fill a need.

The iFetch is designed for small- to medium-sized dogs. It launches a mini tennis ball to 10, 20, or 30 feet. It can either be plugged into an outlet or run on batteries for outdoor play. You don't even have to be around to use it. A dog just has to learn to drop a ball into the device. The iFetch will automatically toss it out for your pup to fetch and bring back.

The iFetch may sound like heaven for lazy dog owners, but it could also work well for dog owners with physical limitations or for letting a bored dog entertain itself while you're away. There is one other notable feature of the iFetch. I has a drool drain to accommodate extra-slobbery pups.

An iFetch prototype has already been tested by some happy dogs. A $75 Kickstarter pledge will get you one of your own to endlessly entertain your little fuzzball. Perhaps some day, the iFetch will also be available in a jumbo size for Great Danes and mastiffs.