CES 2019: This robot chases your dog around and throws treats when you can't

If a dog is man's best friend, the Laika robot toy wants to be your dog's best friend.

Laika is a robot toy and companion for your dog.
Patrick Holland/CNET

In recent years, there have been any number of pet cameras that allow you to see what your dog is doing while you're away from home. Some are just cameras, other have speakers so that you can talk to your furry friend and, more recently, several can give your dog or cat a treat.

But at CES, the French company CamToy has a pet camera that can follow your dog around and give it treats. It's called Laika and strives to be a live companion for your dog. If you're familiar with Pet Cube, imagine if it could follow your dog around. Laika is part toy, part robot and part pet camera.

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The Laika is about the size of a butternut squash. It has a cylindrical shape with a wheel in the back like a tricycle. There is a camera so you can see what your dog is doing. A microphone and speaker let you talk to your dog and hear him, too. And Laika has what is bound to be your your dog's favorite feature: a treat launcher.

You can use an app to see and hear your dog at any time. You can even drive it around to play with your pup. Laika also has an autonomous mode. It uses a quarter-size tracker that attaches to your dog's collar to find and engage with your dog until you return.

The combination of treat delivery and its ability to move should appeal to many dogs. A representative for CamToy joked that it's possible for a dog to like Laika more than its owner.

Laika is $460, but you can currently get it on IndieGoGo for $325, which converts roughly to £255, AU$450. However, it's an Indiegogo deal. As always, please note that CNET's reporting on crowdfunding campaigns is not an endorsement of the project or its creators. Before contributing to any campaign, read the crowdfunding site's policies to find out your rights (and refund policies, or the lack thereof) before and after a campaign ends

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