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Meet Rocki, the robot pet companion

If you're a parent of a fur baby or two who wants to check in on your pets while you're away, and maybe even play with them, Rocki may be the device for you.
Written by Elizabeth Mauder, Video Producer on

If you're an over-the-top fur parent, like myself, then you've probably wanted to know what your furry friends are up to when you're away. 

Maybe you've even wanted to give them a treat because you know they're being so cute while you're gone. 

Also: The best robot litter boxes

Well, now you can. Rocki, a three-in-one pet companion robot, comes equipped with a 1080p HD camera, treat dispenser, laser pointer attachment, and feather attachment so you can keep an eye on your pets, and even interact with them when you're away.

To use Rocki, you'll download the Rocki Robot app and connect your robot to your internet connection to begin playing with your pet or pets. It's simple and intuitive, and the camera view is impressive. It doesn't matter how bright or dark your home is, Rocki's 1080p camera delivers crisp imaging all the time.   

In Rocki's app, you'll use the buttons on the screen to navigate the robot, similar to a joystick setup on a gaming device. This is where the fun begins. My cat loves Rocki, so when she hears it driving around she's immediately by its side, but my German shepherd doesn't care for it so I drive around my house looking for him frequently. 

This robot can go everywhere in my house without getting stuck: Rocki has tackled the transition from tile to carpet, tile to a rug, and a rug to carpet with zero issues.   

A cat under a table with directional controls overlaid at the sides

Here's your view within the Rocki Robot app. You can see the control panel, the treat dispenser option, and my grumpy cat.

Beth Mauder/ZDNET

And of course, the treat dispenser is a pet favorite in this house. You load Rocki up with small, dry treats and then use the app to have the robot dispense them as you'd like. We used small cat treats during our testing period and it worked really well. Our kitty was absolutely thrilled.

A second favorite was the laser pointer attachment. We would drive Rocki around and watch both the cat and the German shorthaired pointer (that's my other dog) go nuts over it. They loved this attachment so much we hardly used the feather one.

Also: Never alone? Robots and videogames raise questions about empathy

My only disappointment with Rocki is its battery life. I can only get about two days' worth of charge, and it's annoying to try and remember to charge it so frequently. What ends up happening is my pets have a blast for two days playing with it, and then it sits for a week dead until I remember to charge it again before leaving the house. A longer battery would greatly increase our usage of the robot.

Bottom line

The Rocki pet companion robot works really well and is a pet-favorite device in my home. The app is simple to use, the robot navigates throughout my home without an issue, and the attachments are fun and engaging for my furry friends. If you're someone who can stay on top of the low battery life situation, then this may be just the device for you.

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