Pet tech is huge business, particularly for the more popular categories of pet, like dogs and cats (there's not a lot of tech for us bird lovers yet, sadly).
There's a lot of money available to the company that gets pet tech right, so many companies are taking aim at the king of automatic cat litter trays, Litter Robot.
A new design from PurrSong is being shown at CES 2019, hilariously called the LavvieBot (all that money, all that tech, and you call it 'Lavvie' like a Victorian outhouse? Okay then).
LavvieBot looks more like a washing machine than a litter tray:
And it sends you notifications that your cat has had a poo.
Like Litter Robot, it lets you know when the poo tray is full and needs emptying, although from the video it does look smaller than the Litter Robot's tray:
Though PurrSong is quick to point out that their whole unit is considerably smaller than the Litter Robot:
That smaller footprint has downsides, though: big cats like Maine Coons and Savannahs can't use the LavvieBot, and we have concerns about how high the entry is. Older and less mobile cats are going to have real problems getting in and out of that high opening.
In the FAQs, LavvieBot suggests putting a cushion underneath if cats struggle to get in, but we're not sure that would fix the issue. Litter Robot's latest model has an (obscenely expensive) set of steps you can buy if your cat can't get in and out, and also has a built-in step.
The most recent Litter Robot model also accommodates bigger kitties, because they deserve a nice place to poo too.
There's no price announced for the LavvieBot yet, but if it's significantly cheaper than the eye-watering £500 of the Litter Robot Open Air (tip: get an older one, they sometimes come up on Gumtree and eBay), it could prove popular among indoor cat owners who don't fancy scooping poo every day. Which is all of us. [CNET]