International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) is looking to build a drone that can act like dog-sitter and trainer, according to a report from Fortune.
According to the report, IBM filed a patent for the drone that can watch over pets. The patent suggests that the company wants the drone that can feed, train dogs, cats and other domesticated pets as well as prevent them from “tearing up the house while owners are away.”
IBM plans to outfit the drone with several features specifically tailored to pet-sitting. It would be featured sensors and tools to monitor pets.
For example, the done would have a camera to track pets and “determine if they are walking into areas of the house that are off-limits.”
“The camera would also help the drone observe the animal for peculiar behaviors like excessive panting or scratching at doors. If the drone concludes that the animal is acting strangely, it could initiate a training activity by causing an Internet-connected pet toy to launch a ball for an impromptu game of fetch,” Fortune reported.
According to the report, the drone could also play with the animals during playtime. It could encourage the pet by either “providing a verbal praise” or dropping food from an onboard food platform. The done would use a calorie tracker to make sure it does not overfeed the pet.
The drone would be able to issue a “vocalized warning and/or command” in case the animal misbehaves. The machine would work with internet-connected devices such as thermostats, pet feeders, and pet doors.
“For workers who miss seeing their beloved pets during the day, they could periodically spy on and speak to their animals from their smartphones or computers via the drone’s cameras and video screen,” according to the report.
The researchers “saw an opportunity to leverage their knowledge about systems and drones and apply that to the pet industry, which is a multi-billion dollar market in the U.S. alone,” an IBM spokesperson told the publication.
The patent is likely to be granted to International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) “in the coming weeks,” the spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, shares of International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) were trading down 0.49% on Friday. The stock is up 4.59% for the year. During the last 12 months, shares have gained 17.34%.