I’m imagining a world where an aerial drone drops off a box of cat food from Amazon on my front porch. Then, a tiny smart drone zips around the house, amusing my cats. Finally, I lean back on my couch and say, “Clump Claw 2000, go clean the litter box,” triggering a drone to buzz over and dutifully scoop and dispose of the cat waste.
The Clump Claw 2000 is real, after a fashion. The yellow-and-black prototype from Tidy Cats comes with a plastic litter scoop attached to its underbelly. It really flies, just not very well. It looks like it might actually be able to dredge a litter box, but it doesn’t really work. It’s a joke, but it’s one that makes you imagine the possibilities for some future world where powerful drones handle all sorts of less-than-thrilling chores.
While Tidy Cats marketers could have just sat behind a computer and created renders of a scooping drone for April Fools’ Day, they instead went all in and build three prototypes, one of which was sent to me for testing.
Tidy Cats reports that the first drone is somewhere in the Grand Canyon and the second, designed with a cup-shaped scoop, is in the Tidy Innovation Lab in an undisclosed location, no doubt to keep it secure from the prying eyes of competitors.
Tidy Cats provided some tongue-in-cheek quotes from a key executive.” A clump-removing drone feels like the logical next step in innovation for Tidy Cats, and a leap forward in consumer technology as a whole,” said Jim Kerley, Tidy Cats assistant brand manager.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com