Restaurant employs cat for sushi delivery—a robot cat, that is

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Sushi Island, a restaurant in Canada, recently introduced Pudu Robotics’ BellaBot, a moving robot with a head shaped like a cat, as an addition to the restaurant’s staff.

BellaBot can easily move, orient and navigate all by herself in highly dynamic and crowded environments. Equipped with intelligent induction trays, the robot can deliver food to three to four tables at a time. When she arrives at a table, the light strip beside the tray starts to flash, reminding the customers to pick up the food. After the food is taken off the tray, the light strip goes out, at which point the robot will move on to the next table.

The robot server can be seen in action in the video below.

According to a press release from Pudu, a worker at Sushi Island, the restaurant has experienced a sharp increase in its number of visits since BellaBot was adopted on Jan. 17, and no, wonder. You had us at “cat,” and you had us at “sushi.”

BellaBot has apparently been a great help in the restaurant’s effort to provide contact-less delivery during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The electronic cat is also a big hit, with some of the following reactions being reported in the press release:

“OMG! My kids watch Sam & Cat on Netflix and they have a restaurant with robot servers. This totally reminded me of that. My kids think this is super cool !”

“We were there on Saturday. Bella is a treat and was quite amusing to my children & myself. Way to go @sushiisland. Does not replace the human interaction at all, just allows for less physical contact.”

“I am impressed. Can it sing?”

Employees at Sushi Island told Pudu Robotics that they posted a video showing the work of BellaBot on Facebook, and the popularity was unprecedented.  Only one week after BellaBot’s arrival on Jan. 24, the video got 910 shares, 924 comments, and 433 likes, and these figures are still growing.

This robot cat is developed by Pudu Robotics, a provider of commercial robots.

BellaBot also comes with a Cruise mode, which is designed for the robot to move back and forth to deliver snacks or buffet food. In Cruise mode, the robot can walk around at the front door of the shopping center or the restaurant to help attract customers. BellaBot also offers a Birthday mode, in which she delivers birthday cakes accompanied by music blessings.

And, yes, she is also a singing robot!


Related:

Wow! This futuristic robot dog will evolve from a puppy to a ‘supercomputer’

 


Study Highlights the Most and Least Pet-Friendly U.S. Vacation Spots

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Upgraded Points (https://upgradedpoints.com/most-and-least-pet-friendly-vacation-spots-study/) has recently unveiled the results of their latest study, which raties the degree of pet-friendliness for 50 of the most popular U.S. vacation destinations.

Cities with the Highest Pet-Friendly Ratings

The clear winner in this data study was the city of Asheville, North Carolina. It topped the list with a total score of 47.5 out of 50 points.

Asheville received maximum positive ratings for 6 of the 8 total criteria, including number of pet-friendly hotels and number of vacation rentals available that were considered pet-friendly.

The city also has a large number of hiking trails.

The number two city was Santa Fe, New Mexico. This city also had top-flight rankings for pet-friendly accommodations, pet-friendly vacation rental units and hotels.

The other most pet-friendly vacation spots are shown in the infographic below:

Most pet friendly cities infographic

The 15 Most Pet-Friendly Vacation Spots in the US

Cities with the Lowest Ratings for Pet-Friendliness

The lowest score was for Maui, Hawaii, which only received a 2.3 rating out of 50 possible points. It did get some rating for hiking opportunities, but failed to secure any points for accommodations that were pet-friendly or any points for pet-friendly activities (such as restaurants that were pet-friendly).

The major U. S. cities with poor pet-friendliness ratings were Los Angeles (ranked 14th out of 15), Chicago (ranked 11th), New York City (ranked 2nd poorest) and Philadelphia (ranked 8th out of 15).

Other least pet-friendly vacation spots are shown in the infographic below:

least pet friendly infographic

The 15 Least Pet-Friendly Vacation Spots in the US

For this study, data was compiled on the following 8 criteria:

  1. Number of dog parks per 100K population
  2. Number of pet stores
  3. Number of pet-friendly hotels
  4. Number of vacation rentals that will accommodate pets
  5. Number/extent of pet-friendly restaurants
  6. Availability of veterinarians per 100K population
  7. Total miles of hiking trails available
  8. Total number of hiking trails per 100K persons

The 8 criteria, when summed, gave each location a possible maximum value of 50. Each city rated was then ranked numerically according to their calculated score.

For a fuller discussion of the weighting and details of the various ratings, visit the full report HERE. Upgraded Points also provides useful tips for traveling with your pet and a list of pet-friendly airports.

About Upgraded Points LLC

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Upgraded Points is a travel company that provides insider strategies on maximizing travel points and rewards. Launched in 2016 by Alex Miller, Upgraded Points uses targeted research efforts and in-depth studies to give travelers, as well as those looking to travel a real understanding of how to maximize their points and miles.

Learn more at: UpgradedPoints.com.



Pet museums for the dog and cat lover

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Museum of Dog:  For those not familiar with the the it, located in the Berkshires in Massachusetts since April 2017, this museum is all about sharing the love of all things dog. It contains a collection of original photographs and memorabilia, including rare dog collars dating back to the 1800s. It boasts over 180 pieces created by dog loving artists including Mary Engel, William Wegman and Kathy Ruttenberg.


lucky waving cat artwork by Barbara Bullington

The Lucky Cat Museum: Located in Cincinnatti, Ohio, the Lucky Cat, or Maneki Neko, Museum opened during a 2012 ArtWalk to display the owner’s ever-growing collection of those iconic gold cat statues, which many people recognize because they are often seen greeting visitors to Chinese or Japanese restaurants with a waving paw (maneki means to beckon and neko means cat).

Often referred to as Lucky or Fortune Cats, these statues are very interesting to look at for their bright colors, cute faces and variations in detail. If you’re not in the area and ready to make a trip just yet, you can get a peak at some of the collection by visiting, luckycatmewseum.com.


 

The Feline Historical Museum. Also in Ohio is the Feline Historical Museum, which also has more Maneki Neko, along with some other great attractions.

Those attractions include one cool cat house.The Cat Fanciers’ Association Foundation, Inc. acquired the ‘Cat House’ originally designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Gerald B. Tonkens family of Cincinnati. It is a 4-foot square piece designed in 1954 specifically for a cat belonging to Mr. Tonkens’ daughter. The bright, “Cherokee Red,” mid-Century Modern design of the house doesn’t exactly scream “cozy,” but we like to imagine the cat was pretty smug knowing it got to nap in a one-of-a-kind futuristic-looking and less than humble abode.

And, among other great elements of the museum, perhaps the best is the fact that are actual cats, including appearances by agility cats, and Maine Coons and RagDolls having had the run of the museum. Visitors should check the calendar for scheduled cat appearances.

Below is the street view of the museum from Google Maps.


American Museum of the House Cat. Photo used with permission from http://www.catman2.org/the-american-museum-of-the-house-cat.html

 

The American Museum of the House Cat: This museum is a collection of over 30 years worth of things relating to the house cat.

It includes art (modern, folk, advertising, poster, and more), glass cats, as well as vintage and antique cat toys.

According to its website, the museum helps the Catman2 no-kill cat shelter by providing funding for discounted spay/neuter services to the local community. 


The American Kennel Club Museum of Dog. This museum of canine-related artwork was located in St. Louis, Missouri for 30 years, but relocated and reopened in mid-town Manhattan in February 2019 in the same building as AKC headquarters (with access to the library, archives and collection).


For more dog and cat museums around the world, visit: https://www.foundanimals.org/17-dog-cat-museums-around-world/

We tried goat cuddling — here’s how it went…

Reading Time: 4 minutes

We recently did an article about goat yoga, which got us curious about places near us to try it out.

We found Hux Family Farm in Durham, North Carolina, which is about two hours away. They offer both goat yoga and goat meditation, but, while we wanted to try both, we figured, since we would have the grand baby with us, it would be better to do a farm tour, which they also offer.

The goat tours first are on the first and third Sunday of each month from March to November from 1-2:30pm (you can register here), and come complete with goat cuddling time.

After visiting with the farm’s horses and ducks, we entered a tent-covered area with towels — and goats.

three goats

…lots of goats!

lots of goats

Some goats were young and small. The biggest were not super-big—about the size of average-sized dogs.

There were about a dozen people on the tour and the goats actually did a great job of dispersing, going up to everyone and, well, cuddling.

boy petting goat

people cuddling goats

people and goats

There were also some very large sheep (one shown near back of tent).

It’s an amazing feeling when a goat slips up to you and snuggles next to your leg like you’re best friends, which this one did with me.

goat next to leg

 

I probably should have left my pocketbook in the car, though, because the goats seemed convinced there was something good in it for them.

goats chewing pocketbook

Sorry goats! No treats.

Without us having to do anything, such as calling them or offering any food (which we didn’t do), the goats pretty much automatically came to us, as well as everyone else. Some moved around the tent, but others found people to cuddle with and stayed with them.

As you can see, we were quite popular with the goats. I couldn’t stop petting the girl you see next to me in the photo. She was extremely sweet!

 

writer and grandbabywith goats

 

And we learned goats like to cuddle with each other too (this is a mom and baby).

two goats cuddling each other

 

 

The goats are trained to interact with visitors through lots of positive reinforcement, according to the farm owners. But we like to think they also really liked us.

toddler looking at goats

cute gold and black goat

And then, after about a half hour or so, although we really didn’t want to leave these cuddly cuties, it was time to go.

petting goat

One last neck scritch before we go.

On our way off the farm, we bought some goat milk, which, luckily for us, they also sell frozen (this was frozen when we left for home and just about thawed out and ready to drink when we got home). It tastes pretty much like cows’ milk to us, if you’re wondering.

Goat milk

And we purchased something we’ve been wanting to try for a long time — goat milk soap. At only $4 for a lemon-scented bar, it seemed like a bargain and we can’t wait to try it. Just touching it when it’s dry, you can feel how soft it is; it seems like it will be amazing for our skin.

bar of goat milk soap

It was definitely a fun time and I would love to go back for goat yoga. I will be leaving the pocketbook in the car though! 🙂

goat in pocketbook

Sorry goat, still no treats.

 


Five very fun facts about the goat yoga craze

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Goat yoga has become a global phenomenon and a bucket list item for many. In fact, according to a press release from PRWeb, The Original Goat Yoga has had thousands of people on a wait list just to try their classes.

So, whether you’ve heard of goat yoga, or are just discovering this fairly new, but popular, activity, here are five facts about goat yoga (or goga) that you will want to know:

1) Lainey Morse never planned to become a goat yoga mogul, but, Goat Yoga quickly took the world by storm after an idea during a child’s birthday party on her farm in Albany, Oregon, quickly became an international sensation, according to a PRWeb press release.

2) Goat yoga classes are for all ages and levels. Classes take place in a field space or studio full of goats. According to the PRWeb release, “While the goats do not participate in any downward dogs or warrior poses, they do meander freely through the crowd to stand on yogis’ backs and cuddle, and occasionally nibble on the mats.”

3) While not every town has some form of goat yoga yet many do. Goatyoga.net will help you find locations near you for Original Goat Yoga or unaffiliated goga classes.

Goat Yoga Central website screenshot

Screenshot of Goat Yoga Central website.

4) Goat yoga has all the traditional benefits of regular yoga, such as potential to reduce stress and anxiety, and increase balance and flexibility, but with the added adorable factor — if you like goats, that is.

5) Some places that offer goga also offer other goat-related activities.

Hux Family Farm in Durham, North Carolina, for example, provides goat meditation and goat reading therapy.

Laurita Winery in New Jersey offers a combination baby goat yoga, bottle feeding, snuggle time, and wine tasting. Hey, they had us at baby goats, but, throw in some wine and snuggling and we might never leave.

So, what do you think about goat yoga? Are you ready to try it? We are! In fact, we are a little afraid, we’re going to get a little too excited, like this fainting goat in a video from Critter Creek Farm.


Museum in Santa Monica shows kids how to take better care of pets

Reading Time: 3 minutes

featured photo from: https://www.facebook.com/CaytonMuseum/photos/a.146083492123878/1905659406166269/?type=3&theater

LOS ANGELES (PRNewswire) — The highly anticipated Cayton Children’s Museum is open to the general public in Downtown Santa Monica on the third floor of the popular open-air retail and hospitality destination, Santa Monica Place, with the visibility and accessibility to reach the many diverse neighborhoods of greater Los Angeles.

Cayton Children's Museum

Cayton Children’s Museum.

The 21,000-square-foot-facility features hands-on exhibits and a robust calendar of arts and cultural opportunities for children and youth ages 0-10, seven days a week.

Designed by award-winning architects, OfficeUntitled, and celebrated environmental museum exhibit designers, S2 Associates, the space houses more than 35 child-directed exhibits, multipurpose rooms, art studios, a start-of-the-art theatre, curated murals, a rotating exhibit gallery, gift shop, and community and public space.

“Children’s museums are powerful spaces for gathering, for being in community, for celebrating, for playing and for learning,” explains Esther Netter, founder and CEO of the Cayton Children’s Museum.

Building off of the values and history of the former Zimmer Children’s Museum in Los Angeles, the reimagined Cayton Children’s Museum features a series of unexpected experiences that empower young visitors to author their own adventure. The space is designed as five exhibit wings that work in concert to inspire visitors to explore core universal values, such as kindness, compassion, respect and hospitality.

The five wings feature the following themes and highlighted exhibits, including a theme that teaches children about helping animals and people:

LET’S HELP teaches children the many ways they can serve and support our communities as active citizens who respond, rescue and help one another. Exhibits include our Animal Hospital, sponsored by VCA, where children practice caring for and taking responsibility for their pets in imaginative ways.

This theme also includes: the Help-a-copter where visitors interact with a repurposed helicopter to fly to the rescue; and To the Rescue!, a sea-like ball pit with a recycled Coast Guard rescue boat.

The other themes/exhibits are:

REACH FOR, which inspires children to discover their personal capacity and ability to achieve.

  • Visitors can test new heights through the Courage Climber, a mesh web of ropes suspended from the ceiling that form a canopy, giving children the opportunity to explore the museum from different vantage points, expanding their perspective and worldview.

LAUNCH YOUR allows visitors ages 0-2 to explore what it means to push beyond, in a safe yet exciting way through the Skyscape, an exhibit of suspended ceiling sculptures that combine color, movement, and air to stimulate senses and engage young minds.

TOGETHER WE encourages collaborative play, communication and discovery in an effort to explore what is possible when we work together in shared space.

  • Exhibits include Teamwork Waterworks where children build, sail, explore, invent, play and watch as droplets join together and turn into rivers;

  • the Wisdom Wall, where we aim to inspire by sharing the wisdom of great thinkers, artists, and leaders;

  • and the All Systems Go! Ball Machine, a Rube Goldberg-inspired interactive exhibit that engages children and adults of all sizes and abilities in making healthy choices.

REFLECT ON inspires introspection, reflection and connection, while teaching our young visitors what it means to be still so we can listen and observe the world around us.

  • Exhibits include In Tune With Nature, a room that is buzzing with 360-degree digital scenes of nature with a bench for meditation and reflection;

•the Wishing Wall which has been created with inspiration from many cultures, sacred spaces and memorials throughout the world that prompts reflection, response and questioning;

•and the Hello Booth inspired by the Telephone of the Wind in Japan.

Built on kindness, responsibility, social justice, and inclusivity, the Cayton Children’s Museum is the culmination of over 30 years of working with children and youth to inspire lifelong creativity and promote civic engagement to build strong communities.

To learn more, visit https://www.caytonmuseum.org/.

Happy Tails Canine Adventure Tours launches ‘Ultimate Dog-Lover’s Adventure’ eco-tour for dog lovers

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(PRWeb)—Happy Tails Canine Adventure Tours recently announced the first all-inclusive eco-tour of the Grand Canyon, Utah’s Mighty 5Ⓡ national parks and the American Southwest designed specifically for humans and their canine companions.

Most every dog lover has imagined enjoying a safe, hassle-free vacation with their dog. But more often than not it never materializes, often because it comes with finding lodging, activities and transportation options that will accommodate dogs.

Happy Tails is providing an eight-day eco-tour across the Southwestern United States’ most incredible natural monuments. Interested parties can learn more and sign up here at http://www.happytailstours.com/southwest-tours

Happy Tails Canine Adventure Tours is created by David Blank, a professional dog trainer and 27-year veteran adventure tour operator.

“I’ve spent the better part of my life traveling the world and serving as a guide in countless natural environments,” said Blank, founder and COO of Happy Tails Adventure Tours. “Some of my most precious memories are of me camping and hiking with my dogs. But too many times I was forced to leave my favorite companions at home due to rules, logistics, lodging … the reasons kept coming. I knew there were others out there like me that want to experience the great outdoors with their best friends, so I had to create this experience on my own.”

Happy Tails handles all logistics and costs for lodging, transportation, activity fees, and most meals, so the only thing left for dog owners to do is to be there and have fun with their canine sidekicks.

Dogs and their human companions are given the opportunity to explore the best that the Southwest has to offer with Happy Tails’ Peaceful Paws – A Canine/Human Spiritual Adventure. The Grand Canyon, Lake Powell and Monument Valley Tribal Park are just a few of the attractions that will be visited, with activities and adventures to choose from, ranging from hiking to boating to jeep tours with the dogs.

On top of that, professional adventure guides, will guide travelers throughout the whole journey and will make sure that dogs and their humans will travel in tremendous safety and comfort. Happy Tails can even provide a canine friend for the whole tour duration, upon client’s request.

In addition to eco-tour activities, the Peaceful Paws tour is a one-of-a-kind tour including daily meditation, yoga and discussions on holistic living with dogs.

VIP Host Amanda Ree, founder of Sama Dog: Wellbeing for Dogs + Their Humans, and lead educator at the Deepak Chopra Center for Wellbeing, will share her unique teachings of natural, spiritual living with dogs and will provide an enriching, mind-centering, heart-expanding, memorable experience.

Peaceful Paws is just one of many tours that Happy Tails is developing. To keep up-to-date with the latest tours, please visit https://www.happytailstours.com/ or  follow on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to learn more.

You can also download a free copy of our E-Book “Everything You Need To Know To Travel With Your Dog”.

A look at Lucky Dog Bark and Brew

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Dogs at Lucky Dog Bark and Brew

Photo from Lucky Dog Bark and Brew Facebook page. Used with permission.

Lucky Dog Bar and Brew is sports bar you can not only bring you dog too — it also has an indoor and outdoor dog park, dog baths and more. Margaritis and dogs sounds like our idea of heaven.

Food isn’t prepared on site, but you can bring your own food or order from nearby restaurants or food trucks.

There are three Lucky Dog locations in North Carolina, two in Charlotte and one in Cornelius.

Daycare and overnight boarding are also offered. For more, check out the link below and, underneath that, you can check out a 360 degree virtual tour via Google Maps.

Lucky Dog Bark and Brew website

Take a 360° Virtual Tour

Our new podcast series: Places you visit with your pet

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In our first podcast in our new series, “Places you can visit with your pet,” we take a look at the American Museum of the House Cat in Sylva, North Carolina.

Exterior photo of American Museum of the House Cat

American Museum of the House Cat. Used with permission from http://www.catman2.org/the-american-museum-of-the-house-cat.html

Podcast Transcript:

Today, we are going to start a series looking at cool places across the country you might be able to travel with your pet.

First up, is:

The American Museum of the House Cat: This small museum has a collection of over 30 years worth of things relating to the house cat, including folk art and antique cat toys.

According to its website, the museum helps the Catman2 no-kill cat shelter by providing funding for discounted spay/neuter services to the local community. You can even bring your cat to this museum—as long as it is on a leash.

Small dogs are OK too.

Other critters are allowed entry at the discretion of the museum owner.

Thanks for joining us. Next time, we’ll have another great place you can visit with your pet.

Update: The American Museum of the House Cat has moved to a new location as of April 2020. The new address is 5063 Hwy 441 South, Sylva, NC. For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/americanmuseumofthehousecat/

The American Kennel Club Museum is now open in New York City

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NEW YORK (PRNewswire) — The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog officially open its doors in New York City at its new location, 101 Park Ave, just steps away from Grand Central Station.

The Museum houses one of the world’s largest repositories of canine fine art, with art from famous dog artists such as Sir Edwin Landseer, Maud Earl, Arthur Wardle and many more.

Below are some photos of museum content, courtesy of the American Kennel Club Association.

Photo: David Woo, AKC

Photo: David Woo, AKC

Photo: David Woo, AKC

Photo: David Woo, AKC

Photo: David Woo, AKC

The Museum’s first exhibition will be entitled “For the Love of All Things Dog” and combines select works from the AKC’s own collection and that of the Museum.

Spanning two floors with a double height atrium space at the stair, the gallery includes interactive exhibits such as:

  • “Find Your Match” kiosks that take your photo, aligning its likeness with a dog breed.
  • Try to train a digital service dog named “Molly” at the “Train A Dog” exhibit.
  • “Meet the Breeds®” touchscreen tables that allows visitors to explore breeds’ features, traits, history and representations in the collection.

The museum has an app that serves as a helpful guide for visitors, providing general information and important highlights such as current shows, upcoming events and “Best in Show.” The app is also equipped with augmented reality experiences, including a scavenger hunt and a museum tour led by a virtual dog named “Arty.”

About the AKC Museum of the Dog
The AKC Museum of the Dog, founded in 1982, was originally housed in The New York Life Building located at 51 Madison Avenue as part of the AKC Headquarters. In 1987, the Museum was moved to West St. Louis County, Missouri. The AKC Museum of the Dog is dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition, and interpretation of the art, artifacts and literature of the dog for the purposes of education, historical perspective, aesthetic enjoyment and to enhance the appreciation for and knowledge of the significance of the dog and the human/canine relationship.

The Museum is home to several hundred paintings, drawings, watercolors, prints, sculptures, bronzes, and porcelain figurines, a variety of decorative arts objects and interactive displays depicting man’s best friend throughout the ages.

The AKC Museum of the Dog is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization funded mainly by private and corporate gift donations.

For more information on the AKC Museum of the Dog visit www.Museumofthedog.org.

Become a fan of the AKC Museum of the Dog on Facebook at akcmuseumofthedog.