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ZOMG! Using Robots to Play With Kittens Online Is the Best Timewaster Ever

playing with cats online
Today at Chez Switched, we are playing with kittens in Oregon. Or, at least, we are virtually playing with kittens. (And by "we," we mean the one of us that still uses Internet Explorer.) Inventor/robotics expert Scott Harris, head of the Boise, Iowa-based company Apriori Control, has created a Web-controlled system that manipulates robotic arms. While waiting for more profitable clients, Harris and Apriori have decided to lend the tech to Idaho and Oregon humane societies. And what does that mean for the rest of your work day? You get to play with kittens!

Users queue up for 120 seconds of kitty mania, during which they guide a robot arm and watch, in real time, as a piece of string swings and teases a feline. At the time of writing, six people were currently in line to interact with cats, and there are two black cats and one tiny tabby having a go. The interface is clean and simple. You click up and down to move the robo-toys, and swap to different activities. We didn't experience any video lag watching the kitties pounce and play. (Our Internet Explorer did crash a couple times, but that just might be IE).

Bottom line: Sure, this technology has practical applications like "dispensing medication" or "online gaming." But, really -- kittens! (Harris is also lending the tech to the Indianapolis Zoo, which could be fun, too.) Not only does it give the orphaned kitties something to do, but locals in the market for a tiny, fur-covered angel of their own can see their potential pet in action. (Or sometimes not. At one point, a dutiful Oregon volunteer began sweeping the pen while the cats were sleeping; even boisterous paws need a nap, now and then.) Harris told Yahoo! News that he's been approached by the adult industry for his virtual-to-real-time application, which he said he'd consider "if I go broke." Good for him. Porn comes and goes, but the joy of a kitten lasts forever.

Tags: AprioriControl, Cats, kittens, lolcats, lolz, OregonHumanSociety, robots, ScottHarris, top