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The engineers at DogProtect make tools for protecting our pets, and their current product is a robot that trains dogs to stay away from snakes. Snake bites can be life-threatening when dogs are injected with venom, painful is the bite is non-venomous, and come with massive amounts of recovery time, rehabilitation, or veterinary bills. DREDR is a robotic snake that users control with an iOS or Android app to sound, look and move like a snake. A Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign is underway to fund the first production run of bots.
When a dog approaches the snake a spray of water or lemon juice is fired toward the dog, meant to frighten the animal and create a learned behavior of avoiding snakes. And snake robots. Testing was done with different dog breeds, size, and ages. The recommended exposure is three encounters with the snake robot in three different locations to teach that snake shaped objects are something to be avoided.
The snake can be controlled from up to twelve yards away, and is twenty five inches long and weighs 0.43 pounds before the water is added. The body is built from plastic and rubber, and an internal battery can be recharged over USB connection. The campaign video shows dogs being sprayed but has no video of the robotic snake slithering along any surfaces.
The DREDR seems like a product with an incredibly small user base, but snake bites to dogs are more prevalent than I guessed. The campaign says that one out of fifty dogs are bitten in their lifetime, and there are several articles discussing snake bites and how they affect dogs. Although I wasnât able to find the patent called out in the Kickstarter campaign (pat. pending US 15/795,780)Â I was lucky to find US Patent 6490999B1, the âCollar apparatus enabling secure handling of a snake by tetherâ that allows an entirely different subgroup of pet owners walk their snakes on a leash. DREDR the Dog Training Snakeâs fundraising has a low turnout so far, but the campaign lasts until October 17, 2018.