Play Virtually, With Real Kittens

For anyone who loves cats but suffers from allergies, or for anyone with an urge to get cuddly with kittens, a new application by Apriori Control, a tiny Boise, Idaho-based company that has developed technology to control robotic arms over the internet may be just the ticket.

While the company’s technology can be applied against a wide variety of industrial and military scenarios, they have adapted their system to benefit a good cause and give anyone connected to the internet the ability to play with kittens in animal shelters.

To date, both the Idaho and Oregon Humane Societies have “kitten play rooms” with toys attached to large robotic arms so that internet users can log into the animal adoption groups’ websites, http://www.oregonhumane.org or http://www.idahohumanesociety.org, and play with the kittens.

Once on the sites, users need to download an Internet Explorer (IE) browser plug-in (at this time IE is the only supported browser) that enablesyou to control the robotic arms. Then, you get in line to take a turn at controlling the arms and playing with the kittens. Be prepared to wait your turn – when I logged on I was 16th in line with an approximate wait time of 32 minutes. While you wait, you can watch a live webcam stream of the kittens playing.

When much of the news about internet technologies focuses on negative aspects, it helps to regain perspective by checking out some of the really cool – and cute – applications that improve the world and our experiences.

Linda

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