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31st Aug 2022

Woman builds AI system to observe her cats’ poo

Kieran Galpin

Via YouTube

‘Don’t ask me about my mental health I did it for science’

A software engineer has built an AI system that tracks her cat’s bowel movements in what she describes as “like a baby monitor but a poop monitor.”

YouTuber and software engineer Estefannie wanted to stay on top of her cat Teddy’s bowel movements, believing that he was eating plastic and becoming constipated. Naturally, she spent two years designing and making an AI program for this exact purpose.

“Did I make an AI whose only purpose in life is to watch my cat’s poop?” she questions in a video uploaded on August 28. “Will it come after me when the machines rise?”

“Like a baby monitor but a poop monitor,” she added on her blog.

The landmark invention logs Teddy’s pooping habits using sensors, infrared cameras, a tiny computer and around 50,000 pictures of cat poo. She couldn’t even use stock images and had to collect the shots from Teddy and her other cat Luna.

“I needed positive and negative models. The Teddy positive model is trained with pictures of Teddy using the litter box,” she explained. “A Teddy negative model is trained with pictures of Luna using the litter box, blurry pictures, an empty litter box, my hands cleaning the litter box, and the occasional foot pic loll. And the same would go for Luna’s models.”

Via YouTube

Estefannie didn’t stop at the device and even made a bespoke “toilet” for Teddy using oak plywood, fake grass and lots of glue, by the look of it.

Her invention now logs everything, from the date to how long it took them

“Don’t ask me about my mental health I did it for science,” she added.

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