Bizarre Tech: FishCare Mini, Owl Robot and Cura Light
Image credit: Cura
Hello, it’s me! So, you want to take care of your pets (plant, fish or floof), but you’re a busy bee. And you want even more apps on your phone. Well, take a look at these bad boys.
I spy with my little fisheye
This Kickstarter campaign was last updated in June 2019, so it’s likely the product went down the toilet, like your goldfish after it kicked the bucket because you didn’t put the right protocols in place when you went on holibobs.
However, this product was supposed to fix that.
From TAE Fishcare (website no longer online), the FishCare Mini (beta version) was for you to “enjoy your holiday fish can be safe and sound in home” (not my words).
This wee gadget was supposed to let you set up threshold values and give you real-time data of temperature, pH, and nitrate measurements. It would broadcast a visual alarm if the measured data was out of threshold values, and also send an alert SMS and email.
What do you reckon the alarm would be like? ‘WEEE WOOOO FISHY CONDITIONS NOT OPTIMAL. TOO MUCH POOP, PH OUTTA WHACK. FIX IT!’
The creators of the FishCare Mini said existing water-measuring methods used in aquariums and aquaculture – manual and semi-automatic – are cumbersome and expensive. The automatic measurements from the Wi-Fi-enabled FishCare Mini were sent to the accompanying app in real-time, and the data could be stored for 24 hours.
The Mini could also control the filter, air pump, heater and feeder remotely. Because if you had a goldfish, they would need food around the clock. Those wee water gannets. However, I’ve never been one to trust automatic food dispensers, because what if a pellet got stuck one time and then your aquatic pals slowly starved to death and then you come home from your exotic break away to be greeted by a watery grave?
Anyway, just seven backers pledged a total of AU$2,546 to help the project.
Sad fishy face.
Skymee Owl Robot
LOOK.AT.IT. Rolling around, looking adorable.
The Owl Robot (bit of an obvious name, but hey ho. Could have been something like rOWLer, like roller, get it?) has motion visualisation – its ‘eyes’ can monitor and record your pet’s activity at home. So, as well as being a nanny, it’s kind of like a bonus pet, too.
Using the accompanying app, Owl Robot has two-way communication, so it lets you talk to your pet and dispense treats. Created by Skymee, a tech company from Hong Kong, you can use the bot wherever you are, after you’ve connected it to Wi-Fi.
It has automatic obstacle avoidance and two universal wheels so you can whizz it around to find your pets. Not sure it can go upstairs, though. Sure, it can bounce down (probably breaking halfway to the bottom). Means your pets can run up the stairs, just like a stroppy teen, to get away from your mean owl face.
The bot has a 1080p full-HD camera with a 4x zoom and 130° wide-angle view in its left eye, and it has night vision function to see dark rooms clearly, in case your fur baby is trying to sneak midnight snacks from the fridge.
When you’re at work, the owl robot gives you the ability to entertain and interact with your fluffs, dispensing treats. Its interactive actions mean you can also play with your pets.
The bot can be used for six to eight hours continuously (a day at work), or five to ten days of standby. Just touch it to wake it up and get it to nannying.
It’s apparently made of safe, durable and high-quality materials – not sure how it could withstand incessant puppy playing, batting and chewing, but we’ll see! Or the Owl Robot will.
It also comes with a feather to attract a cat’s attention. That’ll be whapped off quickly, I reckon.
After a successful Kickstarter campaign, you can have your very own Skymee Owl Robot. Buy one at Amazon for £135.99.
Beam me up, planty!
This bit of tech is on its fifth campaign and has previously been supported by 25,000+ backers. At time of writing, the current campaign has had £141,563 pledged of its £20,025 goal. NOICE.
The idea of a Cura Light is to care for your plant indoors at all stages. What a plant needs changes across its growth stages, through germination, seedling, vegetative growth and flowering/ fruit-bearing. And it varies across plant types.
Self-proclaimed as “360° plant care”, the Cura Light creators’ aim was to make a universal product that could help anyone get the best growth with ease.
The solution? By making multi-channel variable spectrum lights. To help you operate the gadget, the team devised ‘Presets’ on the accompanying app.
They say the Cura Light incorporates a majority of full-spectrum white LEDs of a certain specification, a secondary full-spectrum white with another, along with specialised reds and blues. Each Preset uses a combination of these. This apparently means the Cura is great for vegetative growth which has a healthy root and stem structure and reduces stretching – I reckon that’s root stretching, right? I don’t want my plants doing tai chi in my house, thanks.
The lights stimulate photosynthesis and promote biomass growth, which is essential for reproductive functions. Wahey.
Available Presets include Herbs & Greens, Flowers & Fruits, Germination, and Indoor Garden Plants. You can make custom Presets, too.
Cura has high photosynthetic photon flux density at close distance, which horti-growlight.com says is “the amount of light that actually reaches your plants within the PAR region or the number of photosynthetically active photons that fall on a given surface each second”. Just FYI, in case you didn’t know.
According to the Cura team, when provided with the ideal wavelengths, plants grow up to 50 per cent faster than being on windowsills. With correct lighting and nutrition, plant stems are thicker, leaves have more mass with shorter nodes (love that word), with quicker flowering and fruition.
Cura Light comes in three sizes with a floor, wall, or desk mount, and contains a peristaltic pump that runs for a few minutes every day and provides “drip watering through the tube to the base of the plant”.
The app integrates with Apple Home-kit/Siri, Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
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