This project's funding goal was not reached on October 1, 2013.
About this project
iCPooch is for pet owners who are at work, at school, traveling, out to dinner, running errands, or just away from home and miss their pet (and/or their pet misses them). With the iCPooch device connected to a home wireless internet router, you can deliver a treat from a smartphone, tablet, or computer no matter where you are. The device also has an adjustable mounting bracket so that you can attach a tablet
or smartphone (not included) and video chat with your pet! The
tablet/smartphone operates independently of the iCPooch device, allowing you
to use Skype video chat software to auto-answer your calls (we are also working on our own video chat solution). As long as your
smartphone/tablet has a microphone and a camera (most all do) and is
connected to the internet, you can video chat with Fido at eye level,
and in the separate iCPooch app deliver a treat. An estimated 13+ million dogs suffer from separation anxiety, and we know that pet owners do too!
The iCPooch device is a combination of a miniature vending machine and a computer. The device acts like a computer, using a motherboard (Raspberry Pi) and wifi module to connect to the internet. The computer is attached to a motor which is activated when the owner of the device gives it the “drop treat” command from their remote computing device (smartphone, tablet, pc, etc). A removable/re-loadable sleeve inside the device houses the treats, and one treat is pushed out by the motor arm each time the motor is activated.
And of course there is software driving all this. The iCPooch software is pre-installed and runs locally on the device, waiting and hoping to get the “drop treat” signal. Our software is also running in the cloud, allowing an owner to log in to their personal account and give the “drop treat” command. By utilizing a cloud server for the app, we provide compatibility for any remote internet connected device, no matter the operating system or version.
But wait, there’s more! We have iCPooch dog treats too! Based upon our testing, your dog will love our treats, and you will be able to purchase iCPooch treats from our website and from a variety of retailers. We have designed the iCPooch device to be compatible with most round (cookie shape) dog treats. We also plan on producing a sleeve that will accept the most popular size bone-shaped treats (will be sold separately).
Summary of Features
Deliver your pet a treat from anywhere
Software designed to work with any device
Re-loadable sleeve works with various diameter hard cookie treats
- Video chat with your pet (tablet, smartphone, etc not included; separate video chat software needed)
Includes iCPooch device, AC power adapter
Most Kickstarter pledges include iCPooch cookies
- Patent application accepted by U.S. Patent Office early 2013
- Software development underway - can now send a "drop treat" command through the internet to our device!
- Retail package design complete (see image on this page)
- Final device prototype development and testing complete
- Our inventor Brooke Martin is selected as a top 10 finalist in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for her iCPooch invention and video submission!
- Brooke Martin pitches idea for iCpooch at Startup Weekend Spokane - September 28, 2012
- Prototype development begins - October 1, 2012
- iCpooch product concept design decided upon - December 1, 2012
- Brooke connects with MINDS-i Robotics to develop working prototype - December 13, 2012
- James Pelland joins project team - December 19, 2013
- MINDS-i Robotics completes working prototype using Arduino micro-controller - January 18, 2013
- Brooke pitches iCPooch to the Spokane Angel Alliance - January 23, 2013
- Bondgy, Inc. founded as parent company to iCPooch - March 7, 2013
- James Pelland announced as CEO of Bondgy, Inc. - March 8, 2013
- Chris Martin announced as COO of Bondgy, Inc. - March 8, 2013
- Brooke files utility patent - March 14, 2013
- JB Engineering joins project team to start final product design stage - March 29, 2013
- Brooke and James pitch for the second time to the Spokane Angel Alliance for investment - May 1, 2013
- Angel investment secured - May 29, 2013
- Limelyte Technologies joins project team to develop custom software application; Rob Martinson named Chief Technical Officer of Bondgy, Inc. - June 5, 2013
- JB Engineering finishes final product design - June 10, 2013
- Limelyte Technologies pursues Raspberry Pi as preferred micro-controller for iCPooch - June 17, 2013
- Amazon Web Services secured to host cloud server for user to control iCPooch device through the internet - June 18, 2013
- Proto Technologies produces 3-D prototype of final product design - June 19, 2013
- JB Engineering sends drawing to injection moulding companies for preliminary bids for tooling and parts costs - June 19, 2013
- Prototype testing begins using Arduino micro-controller as temporary solution to control iCPooch device - June 21, 2013
- JB Engineering completes modifications to prototype to improve mechanical design - July 5, 2013
- Proto Technologies produces 3-D prototype of modified final product design - July 10, 2013
- Raspberry Pi mounted to iCPooch device to utilize a local drop to deliver dog treat - July 16, 2013
- Prototype testing continues with product design modifications utilizing Raspberry Pi to drop dog treat - July 22, 2013
- Video production begins for Kickstarter campaign - July 29, 2013
- Limelyte Technologies completes web interface to control cookie drop using Raspberry Pi and wifi through Amazon cloud server - August 5, 2013
- Manufacturing agreement for private label dog treat manufacturing finalized - August 8, 2013
- iCPooch prototype testing utilizing Amazon cloud server for dog treat drop begins - August 9, 2013
- Evaluation of injection molding companies bids for final determination of iCPooch parts manufacturer and manufacturing costs - August 13, 2013
- Ten prototype designs of remote control of servo motors using Raspberry Pi and Amazon cloud server go into beta testing - August 15, 2013
- Kickstarter campaign uploaded - August 18, 2013
- Prototype testing continues
We have are currently reviewing bids for the tooling of the plastic parts for both the injection molding and extrusion process. We are also reviewing bids for the actual manufacturing of those plastic parts. We have put out the bids to U.S. based firms only. We already have the costs and suppliers lined up for the motors, controller boards, wifi modules, wiring, cookies, and packaging. So, we know all of our costs and just need to determine who we want to go with for tooling and manufacturing of the plastic parts (may be two different entities).
For final assembly and testing, we are working on an in-house process and lining up manufacturing space where we live. We are analyzing multiple production possibilities to ensure both efficiency in assembly and test protocol accuracy. In parallel, we are working with multiple outsource manufacturers located in the U.S. to get costs on assembly and testing so that when our unit sales increase we can switch to outsourcing the assembly/testing if necessary.
How you will be helping
To date we have received some angel investment and have utilized that funding, along with our own financial investment and long hours, for design engineering, software development, and hardware and packaging prototyping. We are so close to launching our product! Your contributions will help us finalize the software development, as well as the big (financial) next step, which is the tooling of all the parts.
Risks and challenges
As with any new technology product, once our project is successfully funded there are still some risks involved. We have a working prototype (works over the internet) and the software is 70% complete, so we feel confident in the functionality but here are few items to note:
Timeline - if we have trouble procuring inventory of the various parts, our expected delivery date could be pushed out slightly. However, we have lined up multiple sources of all the parts and we don't expect this to be a problem.
Functionality - there is a chance that the device doesn't work with every smartphone/tablet/pc/apple product ever produced. However, we are designing our application to utilize standard html protocol, so any device that can access the internet can access our website and give the "drop treat" command.
We are planning for a blue/white color scheme, though the final tone/shade of blue might differ from what is shown in the images and video.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The device needs to be connected to AC power, and (wirelessly) to a wireless internet router. An internet capable computing device (pc, tablet, smartphone) is needed to control the device.
No. A tablet or smartphone can be mounted on the device using the adjustable mounting brackets, and that would provide video chat capability. The iCPooch software and hardware does not interact with that device. We are working on a video chat solution but do not want to promise it will be available at the time of launch.
Not at this time. Video chat can be done via any video chat software that works with both the computing device mounted on the iCPooch and the owner’s remote computing device. Skype is currently the best solution because it provides auto-answer functionality.
Yes. Each iCPooch device has a unique identifier, and when you log into our website you can choose which device to send the “go” (drop treat) command to.
Any mobile device that can connect to the internet and thus to our cloud server (smartphones, tablets, pcs), on any operating system, can activate the iCPooch motor to drop a treat.
Yes, as long as it is within range of your wireless router.
Our device is bottom-heavy, which helps greatly in stability. In our testing so far, no dogs knocked over the device or come close, even the big dogs.
- (33 days)