Woof Woof!

Pavlov’s Dog: PlayDog is a 3D Printed Game for Canines


Love Dogs? Love 3D printing? Combine your passions with PlayDog, a smart system that provides exercise and food while you’re away from home.

Problems keeping your dog entertained while you are out during the day? Thanks to 3D printing, there may be an answer.

Roboplan Technologies are a 3D printing and coding firm based in Tel Aviv, Israel. Their latest invention is PlayDog, a puzzle and feeding system inspired by Pavlovian conditioning. It’s a game designed to provide exercise, feeding and play for your dog while you are away.

The company describes PlayDog as “a smart game for smart dogs”, and it’s an experimental product made with 3D printed parts and electronic components which you can buy off the shelf.

Users are provided STL files to fabricate the 3D printed parts themselves, and then they can either purchase an electronics kit from Roboplan or source their own hardware. Full instructions are provided for assembly.

How Does PlayDog work?

playdogThe concept is pretty straightforward — 3D printed “bases” are laid out around a user’s home in places accessible to the dog.

When it’s time for feeding, one of the bases emits a beeping sound, summoning the dog to approach it. When the dog approaches the base, the next base in the sequence starts beeping. The process is repeated until the dog reaches the final base, which dispenses a treat for the dog when approached.

In effect, it’s a controlled method of feeding the dog at regulated intervals, whilst also providing mental and physical stimulation.

Assembly time for the PlayDog depends on whether users decide to build the product themselves from off-the-shelf components, or use the company’s available electronics kits.

The 3D printing of parts will take around 15-20 hours, and those building from scratch will need another two and a half hours to etch, solder and assemble.

Purchasing the PlayDog PCB direct from the website can save an hour’s etching time, and if you buy the full kit it requires just 30 minutes assembly time (once all the parts are 3D printed).

The files and code for PlayDog are available to all users. The team hopes to build a community around the project, who will share their tips and modifications for the benefit of all dog owners.

The 3D printable files for PlayDog are now available to download and the PCB is available to order. The idea has already proven popular — the kits are already out of stock, but Roboplan says to expect more soon.