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An AI-Powered Cat Door to Keep Your Cat and Its Prey OUT

Cat passing through the cat door at home


We all know that cats are hunters by nature, but that doesn’t mean we love the “presents” they leave on our front porch. (Or worse, bring inside the house.) If this experience sounds familiar, there may be a solution with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technology (ML) on the horizon: an AI-powered cat door.

Ben Hamm, a product manager at Amazon, created an AI cat door that automatically locks when it detects his cat with prey to prevent the cat from coming inside with it. Hamm created the door by attaching an Arduino electronics kit to the lock, a mounted Amazon DeepLens camera and months of feeding images of his cat to an online machine learning service called SageMaker.

The result: When Hamm’s cat entered the cat door and the machine learning platform detected prey, the cat door would lock for 15 minutes and send an alert text to Hamm’s phone. Out of the 180 times that the door has functioned, it detected prey and locked out his cat six times. Only once did the algorithm fail and falsely lock out his cat.

He also set up the system to donate money to the Audubon Society each time the cat door lock.

This cat door only exists for Hamm and his cat. It is not out on the market. Maybe in the future we will see it emerge. But for now this shows how technology can help us in all areas of life!

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