Footloose: Next-Gen Automatic & Health-Tracking Cat Potty
Robust Self-Cleaning Litter Box ▪ Health Data ▪ A.I. Powered ▪ Cat-Centric Design ▪ Elegant & Ergonomic ▪ Smart Alerts ▪ Deodorizing
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sat, November 17 2018 3:59 AM UTC +00:00.
Cleaning litter boxes is certainly an unpleasant routine. But what was your feeling last time when confronted a toilet un-flushed? Gotcha! I mean, felines have a well-earned reputation as immaculate creatures. They need a clean toilet just like we do.
Footloose is invented to keep your cats' treasure-burying ground always clean. Each time after they finish their business, Footloose starts an 8-min countdown and then initiates a cleaning cycle that funnels all wastes into a tightly-sealed receptacle. All you've to do is to discard the waste bag once in a while.
Existing contraptions have failed what they're built for. Most of them break down within a year of purchase. While cleaning, they cause a lot of waste debris or even get themselves polluted. It feels like you would rather just scoop the litter at the outset.
So we developed OmniClean technology that actually works. The meticulous fusion of hive-style sieve, curvy funnel, fine-tuned turning speed and powerful torque is a result of our unwavering engineering pursuit. Then with a little blessing of the gravitational force, it turns the arduous frustration into a hassle-free pleasure.
A Zero-Compromise Solution
Footloose is a real life hack that embodies our zero-compromise ethos. We invented this system so that you can say goodbye to scooping without compromising on other aspects.
Footloose is the smartest littering robot you can ever imagine. SiftAutonomy algorithms give it the intelligence to recognize each critter in multi-cat households, distinguish litter from cats, detect its perimeter and monitor waste level. To enable that, Footloose includes 3 weight sensors, 4 position gauges, a 360° millimeter-wave transceiver, 2 infrared sensors and 2 powerful computing cores.
The Wireless Litter Box System
After unboxing, pair up Footloose with your home WiFi via Smart Config. It'll stay connected thus you can control it in the Petato App wherever you're. Tweak settings that suit you better and do update firmware for new features in the future.
According to veterinarians, potty behavior is a barometer of health. The advantage of scooping is probably that you can check the waste to see whether your cat is in a good shape. But this is the one thing people always ignore until something bad happens.
With ActiveTrack, we can now proactively monitor cats' physical conditions. Footloose indicates you when there is an anomaly. Some symptoms are difficult to spot by human eyes but can hardly hide from the robots. For example, increased attempts to urinate with small volumes is barely noticeable by human but can be a serious sign of urinary problems.
All data is streamed to your smartphone for reference at any time. We can't generalize a Ph.D thesis topic into several lines here but at the bottom line, these data points are highly helpful for diagnosis when you visit a vet's office.
The debate over open or hooded box is unsettled. Though every pet cat is different, it can be inferred from their outdoor equivalents that the need for fresh air, large space, and relatively sheltered spot is universal. It's this cat-centric philosophy that gives birth to Footloose's form factors.
Good for Small or Old Cats
To facilitate smaller or elder cats with reduced agility, a doorstep is provided. Additionally, the upper surface of the receptacle is engraved with a cascade pattern that serves as a step for in and out.
Sympathy for The Weaker
If you've two or more cats, there may be a hierarchy in their society. Those who are less dominant may often get harassed while toileting. However, in the raised chamber, they look taller hence are less prone to a fight put up by another aggressive cat.
100% Safe & Secure
All the current self-cleaning litter boxes have one common issue: while the mechanical parts are moving, cats can still get inside, unnoticed. In edge cases, this even leads to fatal injuries, especially for petite cats or other small pets such as ferrets.
Footloose is totally safe & secure thanks to three layers of protection. As our signature design, the chamber opening closes while spinning, which prevents cats from entering. More proactively, a millimeter-wave detector picks up any motion of pet or kid within the 30 cm range. It stops the machine right away and resumes after the perimeter is cleared. Lastly, if a tiny critter manages to get in from above, the agile weight sensors can pick up even the slightest change and alert the owner immediately.
Litter box odor is annoying. But Footloose is here to help. Physically, the waste receptacle is concealed as airtight as possible. There won't be any waste exposed in the open air. On the other hand, the stench you smell is mainly ammonia and some sulfide compounds - they get decomposed by a deodorizing unit.
The process is known as photocatalysis, same technology used by NASA in space missions. During the process, UV light energizes the catalyst (mainly titanium dioxide, TiO2) rested in the porous zeolite materials, triggering chemical reactions that neutralize the odor at molecular level, and producing primarily carbon dioxide and water as byproducts.
Footloose works with any cat litter that clumps, as well as silica gel crystals. Our ingenious hexagonal sifting holes are designed to allow litter of different sizes and shapes to pass through efficiently. They're optimized such that no litter will be left out or wasted. When litter returns to the chamber, the pliable sieve lets it fall gently, which minimizes dust.
We've experimented all kinds of litter, including the most popular clumping clay. However, we notice that bentonite granules often get stuck within cats' paws. These granules can be swallowed by cats when they are licking the paws. It's very dangerous as clay is non-digestible. As for crystals, they usually have ragged surfaces, which is not ideal for cats because with a large concentration of nerve receptors, their paws are sensitive. Therefore, we use the biodegradable corn litter mostly now. And it works perfectly well with Footloose.
Litter tracking and spillage are minimized with Footloose. Holes on the doorstep helps stretch cats' paws to get rid of the granules. Also, as cats jump out of the box from above, litter is tracked within a small area outside the single opening, better than all the place in your house.
We used almost all self-cleaning litter boxes available on the market. We were confused by those "more advanced" models. The buttons, lights, colors, blinks, etc. were overwhelming. Let alone the glitches that require troubleshooting frequently.
Features, from our perspective, shall not override usability. Footloose is equipped with a crispy LED display and only one button. The display shows machine status that is worth noticing, including Countdown, Cleaning, Emptying, Pairing, Error and Full. The button is mostly used for manually triggering or pausing a cleaning cycle.
Interactions Made Easy
We're committed to deliver you the best possible user experience. The functional details are not only ergonomic, but also proven highly useful in different scenarios.
Designed to safeguard your furry friends as well as your wallet, Footloose is a one-time investment that saves you both time and money. Paying for custom-made liners, cat litter, waste receptacles, cartridges or other replacements should be an option, not a voluntary-but-mandatory cost to claim the benefits of automation.
Note: Assume 2 cats. Detailed calculations are available in this shared spreadsheet.
At Petato, it's our innovative minds that set us apart. We're a passionate team of designers, engineers and social entrepreneurs who are true ailurophiles. We bring objects to life through creative designs, robotics and artificial intelligence, allowing people to live smarter with their furry friends and turning people's home into a utopia for pets.
Our Founder Byron always knew he wanted to create disruptive tech to make things easier for pets and pet parents. The idea for Petato began after hearing friends were giving away their pets because of pregnancy or their busy schedules. This led to taking on the challenge of creating an automatic cat toilet that would enable cat owners to take better care of the fur-kids. Prior to founding Petato, Byron spent 3 years and contributed to its skyrocketing growth at DJI where his last role was the project manager for Matrice drones, FlightHub and other commercial application products. He was also the lead DJI rep of the SkyFund through which an ecosystem around drone platforms was developed from the ground up.
We've completed design for manufacturing & assembly (DFMA) reviews. The next step is to create the tools that are necessary to manufacture different plastic parts of Footloose. Given the size of it, the biggest tool we're talking about will be as long as 4 ft in one direction. In contrast, a tool for your earbuds is just the size of a Coke can. Tooling cost of Footloose is about $300K. Though we're committed to deliver this product whatsoever, it'd be helpful to have a clear visibility of how many units we need to produce in the first batch.
This project is promoted by Jellop, the ad tech power behind the best Kickstarters with 500+ successful Kickstarter projects with over $235MM raised between them.
Risks and challenges
We’re dedicated to delivering a flawless product, and you can rest assured that we'll do everything to fulfill your expectations. This is not our first Kickstarter campaign, and we've smoothed out many potential problems that may arise with production and fulfillment.
We spent tireless months enjoying the process of bringing Footloose to life. Now Footloose is almost complete. We've painstakingly chosen all the materials and production processes involved in the making of Footloose. However, there may be slight changes made to the finished product that will be shipped out to you. In any case, we promise to update you promptly and explain the nature and rationale behind any change.
We've already included holidays in the schedule. We work in very close collaboration with our manufacturer to ensure everything runs smoothly. Nevertheless, unexpected delays in production are still a possibility and may push back our estimated delivery date. We promise to keep you in the loop at all times and be fully transparent with you every step of the way.
We'll be shipping you Footloose directly from our contract manufacturer in the Shenzhen area. For US backers, generally there will be no import duty for goods with a value lower than $800. However, we don't know where the "trade war" between US and China is heading or whether any tariff will be imposed. We had no issue shipping previous Kickstarter pledges but we'll keep a close eye on the latest policy.
- All gone!