Virtual Pet Therapy: Technology Lets Hospitalized Kids Play With Cats

Reach-in and Open Lab Idaho have created technology that allows remote viewers to access a direct video feed of animal shelters to interact with cats.

Pet therapy in hospitals helps boost health, but for some young cancer patients with weakened immune systems, it's not an option. New interactive technology is providing the next best thing: a direct video feed into an animal shelter, where remote viewers can control robotic cat toys and watch the cats respond.

Reach-in, a company specializing in apps that can move objects online in real time, built the technology along with the nonprofit hacker community, Open Lab Idaho. Now Seattle Children's Hospital has decided to test it out, and children in isolation can virtually play with cats, dogs, rabbits, and even goats.

Animal shelters have been using the technology to help increase adoption rates for their pets. You can try it out yourself.

Image (cc) Alexandra E/Shutterstock