GoBone or go home

November 18, 2016

Long days at the office can mean long stretches of inactivity for dogs. The GoBone, the world's first smartbone, promises to keep canines up and at ‘em while owners are out.

All images courtesy of GoBone.When the owner's away, the dog will…sleep. At least that's what Santiago Gutierrez, an electrical engineer, learned when he set up webcams around his home to see what his dog Rufus did while he was at the office.

Concerned that Rufus wasn't getting enough stimulation or exercise, Gutierrez built the GoBone, the worlds' first smartbone, which dogs can chase, chew, squeak and get treats from-all while their owners are absent.

So what's so smart about the GoBone? The robotic, rolling bone uses algorithms to tailor its movements to the dog's age, weight, breed and play style. For example, it might move quickly and take sharp turns for a spry puppy but slow down and take easier turns for a senior canine. The device can be set to auto mode, or playtime can be scheduled via the GoBone App.

Though Gutierrez originally created the GoBone as a way to keep Rufus entertained and exercised when home alone, he soon realized it could have another use: Enhancing dog-owner interaction.

According to a fact sheet on the product website, “iOS and Android apps turn the GoBone into a gaming device for dogs and their owners when they're together. Modern games like GoBone Fetch and GoBone Hide-and-Seek open up completely new ways for owners to play with their dogs and improve their bond.”

The company says the gaming aspect of the GoBone is perfect for entertaining dogs during bad weather and in urban environments where space is often confined. In addition, it can work well for people with limited mobility.

You might be wondering…

How much does it cost? $229 (Note: You can currently pre-order it for $169. It ships for the first time on December 15.)

What is it made of? Nylon and thermoplastic elastomer (a synthetic rubber)

Is it safe? It has been tested with over 100 dogs for over 1,000 hours, and all materials that come in contact with pets are FDA compliant.

Is it splash and slobber resistant? Yes

How much does it weigh? 1 lb.

How long does the batter last? Eight hours in automatic mode, and around 30 minutes in manual mode

How do you charge it? USB port

Can the GoBone be used outside? The smartbone works on flat outdoor surfaces, gravel and short grass.

What happens if my dog chews it up? The exterior shell can be replaced.