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Cat Recognition Algorithms? 430

skunkeh writes "So your cat keeps bringing dead (or half dead) animals in to your house. What do you do? Obviously, you set up a digital camera to monitor the cat door and lock her out if she has something in her mouth..."
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Cat Recognition Algorithms?

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  • by dotderf ( 548723 ) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @04:57PM (#3217031)
    Great application of technology! If it can recognize cats, I bet it can recognize terrorists (*groan*) But practically speaking, why not just get up and let the cat in?
  • Cool (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 24, 2002 @04:58PM (#3217036)
    If only it worked on in-laws.
    • Re:Cool (Score:5, Funny)

      by slickwillie ( 34689 ) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @05:47PM (#3217217)
      Why not? Just tell your in-laws that they must enter through the cat door. And since you are tired of feeding them all the time, they must bring their own food. Suggest that, since they will have trouble getting through the door with something in their hands, they should put it in their mouth when using the cat door.

      CatDoor Version 2.0: Guillotine option.
  • by Profe55or Booty ( 540761 ) <greg&pcrash,cjb,net> on Sunday March 24, 2002 @05:01PM (#3217048) Homepage
    wouldn't it be nice to have that much free time? =P
  • by cethiesus ( 164785 ) <cethiesusNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Sunday March 24, 2002 @05:03PM (#3217061) Homepage Journal
    It's about time we started monitoring those cats. They've been doing it to us for too long....
  • by RyanFenton ( 230700 ) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @05:03PM (#3217063)
    1. Drop the undesirable object.

    2. Trigger the door.

    3. Pick up undesirable object and walk through door.

    So don't count the cat out yet (when it has the unwanted object)!


    Ryan Fenton
    • also don't count out the skunk...it may someday force the cat to go first or worse cut off...ok that's too gruesome
    • by MarkusQ ( 450076 ) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @05:58PM (#3217254) Journal

      1. Drop the undesirable object.
      2. Trigger the door.
      3. Pick up undesirable object and walk through door.

      ...at which point you can submit a subsequent story:

      Cats can play Zork-style adventure games

      -- MarkusQ
      • at which point you can submit a subsequent story:

        Cat door causes cat mutation.

      • But since cats have no opposable thumbs, we'll have to wait for their forepaws to "mutate" so they can type :)
        • by AnalogBoy ( 51094 ) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @07:08PM (#3217528) Journal
          two words: voice recognition.

          Now all we have to do is figure out catoneese.

          I know what "Mow Meow" means.. "Feed me, you stupid human".

          But meow meow meow, mow meow... i just dont understand. The inflection is a little different on the 2nd meow.

          • A cat goes into the post office and asks to send a telegram. The clerk tells the cat he can have 16 words for $5. The cat writes out the message:

            meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow

            The clerk says 'you can have another word - why not put "meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow".'

            The cat says "well, then it wouldn't make sense".
    • by xixax ( 44677 ) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @11:34PM (#3218719)
      Users of intelligent cat doors are advised to place port negotiation into a manual mode after skrpt k1TTi3z have shown that malicious mouse objects can be instantiated inside your home perimeter by placing them inside a trusted feline packet and inducing an overflow condition once the trusted feline packet is inside your perimeter. The mouse object may be fragmented as mouse packet mangling is usually enabled by default.

      It is recommended that vulnerable sites requiring Automated Feline Access Protocol institute Feline Packet Monitoring by using a set of scales to calculate mass checksums of all incoming and outgoing feline packets and to deny all incoming feline packets not initiated from within the home and to feline packets exhibiting significant mass checksum variation indicating the presence of an embedded mouse object.

      As an added precaution, site implementing the shag-pile transport layer may wish to flush buffers of all incoming feline packets in a controlled environment such as the bathtub.

  • I'm feeding my cat Hill's Science Diet Hairball Control Formula, light. He comes in and eats that when he gets hungry. Too fat to catch anything, and the neighborhood dogs get first crack at the dead squirrels. He's not gonna bring anything in, and if he does, we'll fry it up and serve it for dinner!
  • by Slashamatic ( 553801 ) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @05:04PM (#3217068)
    One of the issues is that the door is optically controlled. Great idea, but cats have been known to hold doors open once they have been unlocked.

    A lady friend of mine had a cat who would get lonely when she went out to work. She would return to find the cat there with half a dozen of her mates lounging around and scoffing at the cat food.

    She tried the magnetic collar. No good. It appears that the cat would prevent the door from closing until her friends were there. This was seen.

    You could imagine in this particular situation. Drop mouse on floor, smile for camera, door unlocks and then pick up mouse and enter. I don't think this would work too well. The moggy is too likely to work it out.

    Note the presentation of kills to a cats master or mistress is a sign of fealty. They are acknowledging your authority with the gift. If you don't greatfully accept the mouse/bird whatever, the cat will be bewildered!!!!!

    • I can one up ya, we used to have this pursian cat, and it drank out of the toilets when it wanted water ... in our house by the bathroom door there was a sewing table. So one day Im walking down the hall and the bathroom door is closed ... The cat is standing on the sewing table pawing the door knob in what looked like a twisting motion. Im not sure the cat knew to twist the knob (it couldn't if it wanted to), but I think she had picked up that humans *used* the door knob in some capacity to open the door. End of story: I opened the door for her and she drank at the toilet.
      • And I can one up you as well.

        My cat used to do the same thing, to get outside, only stitting on the large deep freeze next to the back door. It would sit on the deepfreeze with it's paw on the knob, and pat at it when someone would walk by.

        The good part was getting back in. It used to sit on the wood pile next to the steps at the back. Naturally, sitting there it would see friends come over and ring the door bell, and we would let them in. It didn't take very long before it learned to ring the door bell to get into the house too!
    • If your cat is that intelligent, maybe it's time to fight back. Otherwise, it's just a matter of time before it learns where you keep the food, and then you become just another hunting target.

      Start locking doors. Buy a gun. Don't let your cat know you're planning anything. And then when the time is right... make your move.

      Seriously, I love cats (my own cat is watching me type this, and hopefully he won't be mad at me for this) but if your cat is being that destructive, something is wrong. The worst thing my cat has ever done is piss all over my clothes.

      • if your cat is being that destructive.... The worst thing my cat has ever done is piss all over my clothes.

        Um, I'd say pissing all over your clothes is more destructive than bringing friends over for a meal.

      • Ny sister had a cat who ficured out how to open the fridge. One thanksgiving, after everything was put away and she and her husband were in bed, they awoke to hear a terrible loud crash from downstairs. When John turned on the light, cats scattered from the turkey carcass - all but the one who opened the door. Sluggo wasn't leaving till he'd eaten his fill :)

        She has since learned to wedge a diningroom chair so as to keep the door from being opened. She still has to do this, many years after Sluggo passed on, because he taught the other cats how.

        Cats are much smarter than people think. Sluggo would have laughed at this feeble attempt to constrain him :)

    • You actually believe cats have friends? Have you ever watched lion eat its cubs? Yes they brutally kill and eat their own, I wouldnt consider that friendship.

      Thats like saying we are friends with the taliban, yeah because we let the Taliban in our country, yes they are our friends!!! Hooray!
      • " Yes they brutally kill and eat their own "

        No they do not, what you may have witnesses is a male lion killing the cubs fathered by another lion, in order to better thier own chances of
        having cubs that can survive to adulthood.
        Its a brutal and alien (to us) way to live, but
        that does not mean that groups of lion cannot form
        bonds between

        Unfortunately that is not much different that
        the actions of some human parents thru history
        in response to the option of raising someone elses
        child. You seem to be underestimating both cats and humans.
  • by tcd004 ( 134130 ) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @05:05PM (#3217070) Homepage
    Not how well the system works but, how long before you cat outsmarts the system.

    Read our Oscar Predictions [lostbrain.com]
  • by Emugamer ( 143719 ) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @05:05PM (#3217073) Homepage Journal
    have the same setup as this type of auto-locking door except have some sort of scent detecting algorithm that won't let them in if they have been:

    rolling around in a dead animal carcass

    eating the trash

    sprayed by a skunk

    decided to swim in the neighborhood swamp

    If any of these 4 conditions apply, apply auto-hose and shampoo... (mini dog-wash)

    I'd make millions, really
  • The mark 2 (Score:4, Funny)

    by 56ker ( 566853 ) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @05:05PM (#3217074) Homepage Journal
    gives the cat an electric shock & pours cold water over it if it tries to come in with a dead mouse. :o)
  • by rehannan ( 98364 ) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @05:08PM (#3217083) Homepage
    Very cool. It seems to be pretty good at blocking other animals (skunks, etc...), but what about another cat?

    If possible, they should combine the image recognition with the magnetic collar. This would allow the door to open *only* for a rodent-less Flo and not just any ol' rodent-less cat.
    • by jheinen ( 82399 ) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @05:12PM (#3217105) Homepage
      If you look through the whole site you'll see tht the system can apparently recognize individual cats. There are two other cats that are allowed in (Ellipse & Squirrel). There's a log page that logs each day's events and identifies each cat by name and whether they were allowed in.

      • Yeah, I see that now. However, I'll be really impressed when they can try 100 different cats and it still only lets Flo, Ellipse, and Squirrel in.

        When they get to that stage, I'm sure these things would sell like hot cakes. Just "initialize" the "Flo-Control Cat Door" with pictures of your cats and you're done.
    • If its locked they will pick the lock with their overly sharp claws, be careful though, cats have been known to walk out with expensive jewerly and TV sets.

    • - Squirrel comes inside.
      - Unknown visitor checks out the place.
      - Squirrel goes back outside.

      While the web page talks about two different cats, I'm sure that the software can't detect a difference between them. Just look at the log - only Squirrel is _ever_ detected. If you look at 03/12/2002, be sure to also look at the next few days. You will then see where the algorithm screws up. But one still has to give this guy credit, it's a very cool idea and well implemented. Just don't try to sell it - it's not there yet.


  • i'm interested in whether this will have deterring value. will the cat eventually give up bringing rodents in? or come in less? the pictures of the skunk and bird are a riot; it's like caller ID for animals!
  • i thought.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by 2MuchC0ffeeMan ( 201987 ) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @05:10PM (#3217094) Homepage
    i thought i was a geek when i nuetered my cuecat, but this way beyond that.

    i love it though, now if i only had the money for a digital camera...
  • I wonder... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jucius Maximus ( 229128 ) <m4encxb2sw@NOSpaM.snkmail.com> on Sunday March 24, 2002 @05:12PM (#3217104) Journal
    ...if CmdrTaco could set a virtual one of these up on Slashdot for JohnKatz, not letting him in if he's got a article in hand...
  • by dbc ( 135354 ) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @05:22PM (#3217136)
    I grant that this is very clever, and gets many tech cool points. However...

    Mother cats teach their young to hunt, first by bringing dead animals to the nest, then not-quite-dead animals, and finally injured but fairly lively prey. When the youngters can dispatch a wiggling dinner, they are ready to go on a hunt. What cats are doing when they bring dead or nearly-dead animals to the house is they are trying to teach the slow-witted and lazy humans that they live with to hunt!! We just don't get it.

    Never has a cat had a student more resistant to instruction.

    • What cats are doing when they bring dead or nearly-dead animals to the house is they are trying to teach the slow-witted and lazy humans that they live with to hunt!!
      I think it's the other way round - most cats see us as the parents, especially if they've been raised from kittens. When they bring live animals to you they are looking for recognition that they are hunting properly. Apparently if you make a point of playing with the prey for a while they stop doing it.
      • by Kris_J ( 10111 ) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @07:18PM (#3217574) Homepage Journal
        Apparently if you make a point of playing with the prey for a while they stop doing it.
        Does taking a clueless and un-injured mouse from two equally clueless cats, walking out to the back garden and flinging it over the fence count?

        You should see our cats with a mouse -- the mouse typically runs into the nearest corner and then our cats just stare at it. Occasionally one will go up and tap it. Once it obviously grabbed hold of a paw because there was a sudden flicking of said paw as if to say "Eww, get if off!", mouse lobs off into distance then runs straight back to the same corner. It was pathetic.

        Now, if they'd just stop bring geckos into the house...

      • There's no reason why cats don't think of us in terms of parents sometimes and offspring at other times. I wouldn't bestow upon them such a consistent mental model. I don't think generally kittens bring prey back to their parents either.
  • Got to (Score:3, Funny)

    by Treeluvinhippy ( 545814 ) <liquidsorcery@@@gmail...com> on Sunday March 24, 2002 @05:24PM (#3217141)
    love the irony. Here I am reading an article about facial reconition for a cat, after skimming the comments I read the slashdot quote at the bottom of the page.

    "All most men really want in life is a wife, a house, two kids and a car, a cat, no maybe a dog. Ummm, scratch one of the kids and add a dog. Definitely a dog. "

  • by FFFish ( 7567 )
    From several web sources:

    "Despite the difficulties in showing the effect most predators have on their prey, cats are known to have serious impacts on small mammals and birds. Worldwide, cats may have been involved in the extinction of more bird species than any other cause, except habitat destruction."

    "Most domesticated cats gobble endless bags of cat chow. But they also like dining outdoors where their meals comprise 70 percent small mammals, 20 percent birds, and 10 percent assorted live bait. "

    "Cats cause the deaths of more songbirds than any other animal. ...an outdoor cat can kill up to 1,000 animal per year."

    " The combined total of pets and free-ranging cats in the U.S. is probably more than 100 million."

    "...rural free-ranging domestic cats in Wisconsin may be killing between 8 and 217 million birds each year. The most reasonable estimates indicate that 39 million birds are killed in the state each year. Nationwide, rural cats probably kill over a billion small mammals and hundreds of millions of birds each year. Urban and suburban cats add to this toll."

    It may be argued that responsible cat owners not only neuter their cats, but also keep them strictly indoors or on a leash.
    • It may be argued that responsible cat owners not only neuter their cats, but also keep them strictly indoors or on a leash.

      In more news, it's estimated that birds cause the death of more worms than any other animal. So cats are eating birds. They're probably replacing the other small mammals that no longer live near human populated areas.
      • Also, I've been told that keeping a cat indoors greatly extends it's life expectancy. A cat free to roam lives about two years, I'm told. I have had a (neutered) Persian cat for about 10 years now, and he is happy to remain inside.
        • Hrm.. you mean wild cats, right? Of course, wild animals tend to die quite young, i.e. they get wounded and thus unable to catch some chow, or alternatively unable to escape from predators. Or simply when they get older, again, they get too weak to hunt / escape. Cruel perhaps but that's the way nature is. Compared to a domestical animal which gets food no matter in which shape it is, gets medical attention etc. To return to the age issue, my parents have a 14 year old cat which is free to roam around, and I know lots of people who have cats which are free to roam around, and barring any accidents, they tend to live like 15-20 years. Personally, I think that going outside is healthy for a cat, mentally as well as physically. Hunting is in their nature, after all. Keep in mind that animals in general are much more steered by instincts than humans, and preventing the animal from acting according to said instincts might well make it 'blow a fuse'. There was actually a recent article about this in new scientist, btw, if you're interrested..
    • I think he brings up an interesting point. One could productize this and teach your cats it is inacceptable to bring their dead dinner inside.

      I have a friend of mine that put a bird feeder in his hard. Well, it turned out to be a cat feeder. After it was up a couple of days, he noticed feathers and bird meat bits around the vicinity of the bird feeder. Part of the problem was that the cat was bringing his kills inside the house as a gift. This didn't settle too well with his 5 year old daughter.

      I bet you anything my friend'd be willing to buy a productized version of this. Heck, he'd probably build one himself heh. He's a very smart guy.
  • by hattig ( 47930 ) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @05:31PM (#3217166) Journal
    It does show some false negatives though: 4th March [quantumpicture.com]

    But pretty neat. And the site has withstood Slashdot somehow - something that bigger sites fail on regularly.

  • by seinethinker ( 129155 ) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @05:37PM (#3217189) Homepage Journal
    As a scientist by heart, this is a very interesting and crafty experiment. Of course it works off the findings of Pavlov's Conditioning.

    You are conditioning the cat to either (1) drop the dead animal if it wishes to come inside or (2) remain outdoors.

    As a animal lover, it bothers me should this actually be put to use as a consistant system. Whether humans understand or not, animals are far more intelligent than we think. The behavior of animals is quite instinctual and what would be the circumstances if we were to change their modes of thinking. Would it be possible by to ascertain that one of the following things might happen from this experiment:

    (1) Cat runs away as it instinctually cannot assert its confidence. Much comparison has been made between dogs and cats. Cats seem predestined to take a singluar, individualistic, confident role in the food chain compared to dogs that rely on a class of relationship or borg mentality. Well dogs aren't completely borg but they seek out affection more out of insecurity and reassurance than cats.

    (2) cat becomes feral or wild due to lack of fealty and companionship toward owner.

    Cats aren't complete loners, ya' know.

    Just some thoughts to cast out for conversation.

  • This is really cool, but according to the "today's events" page, nothing has happened in over nine hours. Have we slashdotted a cat door?
  • by khuber ( 5664 ) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @06:06PM (#3217272)
    from web page:
    "We consider any image to be a collection of a finite number of discrete features. This is a novel approach to images - until now they were always thought of as continuous."

    That's bullshit. Breaking down images into features is what nearly everybody in image analysis and recognition does. Look at the Matrox Genesis boards, current papers, books, and so on.

    further on:

    "If we can fully describe an image as a discrete collection of features, we can easily solve the image recognition problem"

    Err, maybe their approach works under some conditions for one instance of image -analysis- (a different problem than recognition!). It looks like they can differentiate between two cats, so they have an approach for a relatively simple recognition problem too.

    If they solved either "The Image Analysis Problem" or "The Image Recognition Problem" they'd be quickly famous and wealthy. These problems are notoriously difficult to solve even under extremely well controlled conditions. Their comments about image based content retrieval requiring so many operations is likewise untrue - making it ever more efficient and accurate is a popular research area.

    Maybe I'm being anal, but I know enough about the subject to know what a load of hooey the "theory" page is.


  • One of my cats deposited a half eaten snake at the foot of my bed throughout the summer months at the cottage. It's really a sign of affection and a willingness to share prey (well sometimes, sometimes you get clawed). Cats pretty much see us as big cats but not as cool as they are.
  • by An Onerous Coward ( 222037 ) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @06:16PM (#3217310) Homepage
    I'm surprised that the readership of Slashdot so easily accepts this encroachment on our personal freedoms. It starts out innocently enough, with a limited rollout of these privacy invasion systems in specific problem areas. But if we don't stand up now and demand an end to it, the freedom of cats everywhere to carry animals that they legally procured will soon be taken away.

    Am I paranoid to imagine that this technology may someday be used in airports to keep cats from boarding flights while carrying small animals? Then what about bus stations? Churches? Restaurants? Hotels? Doesn't this amount to an illegal search by feline authorities? Where is the army of angry geeks to protest this behavior? Ahh, too busy bitching about Morpheus. I see where your priorities lie. Our founding fathers must be turning over in their graves.

    Don't forget, the first thing Hitler did when he rose to power was to demand that all cats register their kills with the government. Perhaps you think I'm being an alarmist, but Midnight and I are going to be stockpiling dead woodchucks in my basement.
  • by bdh ( 96224 ) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @06:20PM (#3217323)
    Long ago, a bat got into our house during the day and decided to have a snooze behind the TV set (it was an old, 1950s era RCA monster). When the bat woke up, it promptly went berserk, scaring everyone. My cat woke up, casually eyeballed it, then calmly disembowelled it on its' next flyby.

    Of course, kitty then wanted to eat said bat, something my parents were not fond of a couple of five year olds witnessing. So, my granddad dragged the cat away from the squealing bat, broke the bat's neck, and in the kitchen, gave the cat a nice, inch thick piece of ham steak as a reward. The bat's remains were disposed of via incinerator.

    The next day, the cat appears on doorstep, yowling he wants in. We open the door, and the biggest fscking bat I have ever seen is dragged into the living room. Said bat is deposited at the foot of my granddad, while kitty trots off to the kitchen, and sits in front of the fridge door, waiting for ham steak.

    So yeah, I won't be overly surprised if and when Flo figures out how to get things into the house and outwit the recognition center. Cats are tricky.

    • I had two cats, Cricket and Ruffles. Cricket was shy and kinda dumb, Ruffles is very dominant and clever.

      If I was petting Cricket, and Ruffles came into the room, Ruffles would usually glare at Cricket, and Cricket would leave, so Ruffles could have undivided affection.

      One day, this kind of irked me, so when Ruffles came into the room, I put my hand firmly on Cricket to prevent her from leaving, and shooed Ruffles away.

      I kid you not, Ruffles looked at me with an expression of hurt betrayal, and then hissed at Cricket, and stalked out. *I* was the one shooing her away, but Ruffles was able to reason that Cricket was the indirect cause of this. Yowza!
  • by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @06:24PM (#3217336) Homepage Journal
    My friend had a problem with his neighbor cats having a competition to see who could leave their scent on the door. To stop this, he rigged up an eletric fence charger to the door. I never actually saw it, but his description was along the lines of placing two leads up on the door. The cat pee would complete the circuit, and he'd get a 1 second long shock. It's not a continual shock, just enough to make your weiner shout "ACK! WTF??".

    He noticed a difference within a day, but it took about 2 weeks for the message to get across.

    The fence charger is gone now, but his door is bone dry heh. (Well not really, he's in Portland, rains alot here...)

    I have a feeling that if cats couldn't get through the door carrying rodents, they'd learn they can't go inside with them. I've personally witnessed cat behaviour modification hehe. My stepmom had a cat that wasn't allowed in the bedroom. So the cat wouldn't go in the bedroom, she'd avoid it. We're pretty sure, though, that she only followed that rule when everybody was home, though heh.
  • Perhaps this will be rolled out in the latest version of the Cat Detector Van in use by the Ministry Of 'Ousinge. I've never seen such aerials!

    (this is what happens when you buy all the Flying Circus eps on DVD....)
  • by w3woody ( 44457 ) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @06:32PM (#3217355) Homepage
    So it'd be a high-end product for cats. But I know quite a few cat owners who would be estatic to be able to fork out a few hundred bucks for a cat door which would unlock only for their cat, and only if their cat wasn't bringing in any "presents."
  • at least not for cattle dogs I've known.

    I've known a couple of Catahoulas that were doggy masters of technology. One was a self-appointed protector of people and nothing would stand in his way observing us.

    This camera system would confuse him for about 15 minutes. He'd quickly learn to associate the "click" with success. They he'd be standing in the camera turning his head, dropping stuff, you name it, until he heard the click. And then he'll be right back to doing what he wants to do. Of course if that didn't work, eating the door would be an option. :-)

  • Radical idea: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mikosullivan ( 320993 ) <miko.idocs@com> on Sunday March 24, 2002 @07:10PM (#3217540)
  • a cat story (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Laplace ( 143876 ) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @07:19PM (#3217579)
    When he was in graduate school my advisor lived in a house with several other students. Most of the people living there were environmental and population biologists (as opposed to microbiologists or biochemists) and had lots of neat animal observation stands set up around the house. One of these stands was a hummingbird feeder, which attracted a particularly rare (and endangered) breed of hummingbird. Another student there had a cat. Now the cat took to eating the hummingbirds, which didn't make the other residents in the house too happy. Several attempts were made to encourage the owner of the cat not to let the cat outside, but the owner refused. One day the owner of the cat came home to find his cat dead, most likely from poisoning.

    This brings up an interesting point about cats. They have a devastating effect on indigenous wildlife. Lots of rare birds and small animals are killed by cats that are given the opportunity to go outside. This shows a tremendous amount of ignorance on the part of pet owners.

    It is also dangerous for cats to roam. They are very territorial, and will fight with most other cats in the area. I had a cat once that became infected with FIV (the feline equivalent of HIV) through fighting with other neighborhood cats.

    The cat recognition is a cool hack, but keeping the cats indoor would be safer and more ethical.
  • Whether locking the cat outside for a week, or stranding the biggest and best ships of the United States Navy in the middle of the ocean, Microsoft Windows is the choice of operating systems for all manner of controls and image recognition systems. With builtin real time capabilities and fail-safe mechanisms, I don't know where I'd be without it.

  • by SysKoll ( 48967 ) on Sunday March 24, 2002 @10:41PM (#3218502)

    What parents really needs is a similar device that would work on their teenage daughters. That eeringly intelligent door-monitoring computer would work like this:

    "Let's see, she's at the door, and she's holding something in her mouth. It looks like the zit-covered face of some boy who, frankly, looks and smells like he is half-dead. Access denied."

    At this point, a good recognition algorithm would (a) lock the door, (b) drop four-pointed spikes on the sofa in case they break a window, (c) page dad, and (d) preload the shotgun.

    -- SysKoll
  • by rediguana ( 104664 ) on Monday March 25, 2002 @01:19AM (#3219227)
    Once, around christmas time, one of our cats had seen us stashing presents under the tree. I was upstairs and heard my mum scream "Ginger's got a bird, come quick." Knowing full well it was my duty to get the bird off him. I came down the stairs and saw him wandering around the corner into the living room where the xmas tree was, and just caught a glimpse of something big and black in his mouth. I rushed down and through into the living room, and low and behold Ginger had deposited a 3/4 size _duck_ still alive on top of the presents under the tree. Luckily the duck wasn't too shaken so we gave Ginger lots of attention (cuddles, councilling... :) and I took the duck over to the neighbours stream and released, twas just shocked I think.
  • by phr2 ( 545169 ) on Monday March 25, 2002 @04:56AM (#3219919)
    The "theory" section of the website begins
    We consider any image to be a collection of a finite number of discrete features. This is a novel approach to images - until now they were always thought of as continuous.
    The cat door hack is cool and all, but the methods used for recognizing it are basically the same ones that most OCR programs use to recognize printed letters. In fact you might even be able to train Omnifont Pro (or whatever it's called) to recognize that silhouette of your cat without a mouse. I've never heard of these methods being applied to cat doors before, but the idea that feature recognition is a novel technique is wishful thinking. I smell bogus patents coming out of this. Sigh.

...there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth. - George Jacob Holyoake