Forgot to feed the cat, and he wakes you up at five in the morning with hungry roulades? Looking for a pet nurse for a business trip or trip out of town? Technology will solve these problems, to the delight of four-legged friends. We talk about the new Petoneer brand – the Nutri Feeder smart feeder and the Fresco Ultra and Mini drinkers.
Why does a pet need a gadget?
Automatic feeders for domestic cats and dogs are a recent invention that dates back to the 30–40s of the 20th century. It was during this period that a number of American patents for entertaining devices with timers appeared. Do not feed the animal yourself: set the time – and the mechanism will open the bowl at the right time.
The emergence of automatic feeders coincided with another innovation – dry food. Previously, it existed in the form of "dog biscuits." Since the 20s, one American company, later called Chappie, popularized canned meat for dogs. But during World War II, meat and tin became scarce, as they went to the needs of the army. Grain-based dry food came out on top.
For granular feed, a device suggests itself, like industrial feeders on poultry farms. Food from the hopper is poured into a bowl, a dog – or a cat – eats without human help.
Automatic feeder, 1972
The downside of this approach is that when no one restricts a pet's food intake, he is likely to gain extra weight. This is what happens. According to various estimates, from 22 to 44% of domestic cats and dogs in the world suffer from obesity. The main reason, as in people, is excess calories, which, in particular, are obtained due to free access to food.
The solution is to return to the trough with a timer. A device with springs would be too simple for the 21st century. Therefore, manufacturers have developed feeders with control via a smartphone and other "buns" of smart gadgets. Such a startup creates Petoneer.
Smart Petoneer Nutri Feeder
Petoneer Nutri Feeder catches the imagination of a cat, not used to automation. The feeder squeaks and pours dry food into a bowl. The reaction of the pet is formed instantly: if the device squeaks, the four-legged bullet flies to the magical “tower”.
At Madrobots, with Nutri Feeder, we have already fed three cats and one corgi. For large dogs, the device is most likely not suitable. The “working” size of the removable bowl is 16 × 12.5 centimeters, which is not enough for large breeds. In addition, a massive dog can overturn a feeder. Cats-testers were small, they, with all the desire, could not bring down the feeder (there are no promises about the manul).
The dimensions of the feeder are 24.6 × 23 × 35.2 centimeters, in the empty state it weighs 2 kilograms. The feed tank is removed along with the impeller, which separates the servings. Removable parts can and should be washed. With prolonged use, they are salted. Safe ABS plastic is well washed, so it’s easy to maintain the device.
3.7 liters of dry food are placed in a container. The feeder is loaded from above, the lid is securely fixed with a latch. On the side walls there are "windows" for infrared sensors, which determine when the power runs out. The sensors themselves are built into the housing of the feeder.
Bottom back – an invisible compartment for an external battery. Put your bank there, plug in the feeder, and Nutri Feeder will continue to work from the backup power source even in case of power outages.
The inconvenient part of the design is the USB input for power. It is located below, so that the animal does not reach the cable and pull it out. Therefore, it is better to first connect the feeder, and then fill it with feed, and do not pull out this wire.
In front of the feeder are two LED indicators and two buttons. From top to bottom: a mechanical button to open the lid, a Wi-Fi indicator, a low feed indicator in the feeder (lit in red) and an immediate manual power button. To set a feeding schedule, you will need the free Petoneer mobile app.
Registration is usual using mail. You can log in with your Google or Facebook account. Three tabs: main, with a list of devices, a tab with messages and profile settings. Exit the application through the profile. New gadgets are added by the “+” button on the main tab.
Nutri Feeder connects to the router via Wi-Fi. It is recommended to keep the feeder within one meter of the signal source. We tested at a distance of 6 meters – everything worked out.
When the feeder is connected, it becomes active in the application. Now it's time to set a feeding schedule. Set the time and number of servings. Serving Size – 10 grams.
Life hack: the daily food intake is indicated on the food package based on the weight of the animal. Find out the weight of the pet and set the feeding schedule, focusing on this figure. Food based on grain calories. Cats and dogs like it a lot, but nobody likes diabetes.
Feeding time is right: Nutri Feeder nourishes and sprinkles food. The owner receives a notification on the smartphone and a message about the successful feeding in the application. If the feeder is jammed or the feed is over, then a notification will be received.
When testing Nutri Feeder, it turned out that it is not suitable for every pet. Phlegmatic and accustomed to dry food animals calmly interacted with the feeder. A naughty cat on a natural diet entered such a rage at the sight of a gadget that she ripped off a bowl and pawed the impeller to get granules. We honestly warn you: if your pet can open doors and packages, then it will open the feeder.
Smart Drinking Fountain Petoneer Fresco Ultra
When feeding dry food, the animal needs clean, fresh, preferably running water. The Petoneer Fresco Ultra drinking water fountain provides such water: cleans, sterilizes, sets in motion. Much better than a bowl where stagnant water spoils and overgrows with bloom.
The fountain consists of a housing, a removable bucket, a water pump, an ultraviolet lamp, a lid, a replaceable carbon filter and a filter stand. Parts are made of ABS plastic. Electronics integrated in the bucket.
For obvious reasons, most are protected from water, but below are the contacts for power. Therefore, the bucket should not be washed in the dishwasher: just rinse under the tap.
Dimensions of the fountain – 20.8 × 19.8 × 18.1 centimeters, weight without water – 1.22 kilograms. The volume of the bucket is 2 liters. In a filled form, the gadget is firmly on the floor. Fresco Ultra is designed for medium-sized cats and dogs. A large dog may not have enough volume.
Fresco Ultra works like this: the pump throws a stream of water through the hole in the stand and the filter on the cover. Water flows back under the lid where it is sterilized by a UV lamp. The pet drinks clean water from the lid. The pump is silent and does not scare animals.
The water level is visible through a window on the front of the hull, inside the fountain is highlighted in white and blue. The fountain has its own water level sensor and its hardness sensor.
The filter consists of a mesh for wool and large fragments of debris, a carbon layer for chlorine and organics, as well as an ion exchange resin to remove hardness salts. The bucket backlight color changes to red when it is time to replace the filter. One filter lasts 30 days.
The fountain is powered by USB. It is connected in the same way as the feeder through the entrance at the bottom of the housing. It’s inconvenient to feel, but the pet will definitely not tear the cable out of the device.
The pump starts immediately after switching on, when the backlight flashes green. Together with the pump, the UV lamp turns on for a couple of minutes. It is bright, eyes begin to hurt if you open the lid and look at the receiver for too long (do not do this).
It would be possible to stop at this, since the pump starts the jet without connecting to the network. The application is needed to simplify the care of the fountain.
The device is connected in the same way as a feeder. We need a Wi-Fi router, to which the fountain can be moved closer, and a smartphone with the Petoneer application. After registering and entering the account, the fountain must be added to the list of devices.
The tab with the fountain is artistically designed – it displays the water level and hardness. Pulling the menu up, you will see three reminders: about servicing the pump, replacing the filter and water. Each is accompanied by instructions. The fountain’s operating time is immediately set, UV sterilization is turned on, and the time to decrease the backlight brightness is set.
On the panel at the bottom of the interface are the power button for the fountain, the on / off button for the backlight, and settings. There is nothing interesting in the settings: name, firmware version and device serial number.
An important question: will a cat drink from such a device? Answer: yes, it will. This is not a paperweight. We checked.
Drinking fountain Petoneer Fresco Mini
Another option to provide your pet with clean, running water is the Petoneer Fresco Mini Drinking Fountain. The device is an order of magnitude simpler than the previous Ultra model. Without an application, without a built-in UV lamp, but with a four-stage cleaning. Water passes through a replaceable filter system – polypropylene, coal, resin and an alloy of highly purified zinc and copper.
The pump on the gadget is almost silent. In the on state and when the tank is sufficiently full, water is constantly circulating in the drinker. Capacity – 1.9 liters. This amount is enough to provide a furry friend for about a week. The remaining water and filter quality can be easily checked by the indicator on the front side.
Good news for Habr readers! By promotional code PETHABR You can buy products from the review – the Petoneer Nutri Feeder smart feeder, the Petoneer Fresco Ultra and Petoneer Fresco Mini smart drinkers – in the Madrobots online store 20% off until December 24, 2019.