April 1, 2021 — The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of things over the past year, including how people interact with strangers and their dogs.
Because of social distancing, it’s become an unspoken faux pas to breach people’s personal space to meet their pups. But YouTuber Ryder Calm Down found a way around that.
Using artificial intelligence, Ryder built a machine that looks out his window and alerts him anytime a dog walks by. Once the machine detects a dog, it uses a megaphone to yell, “I like your dog!” to those outside.
“Quarantine isn’t great, but looking at dogs makes me feel better,” Ryder Calm Down explained on his YouTube channel. “And that’s pretty much it. I do feel better, but I’m not sure if it was the dogs or building something that actually worked for once.”
Ryder is onto something with his invention — watching dogs really could be a mood booster. Research shows that interacting with animals can help people feel less lonely, and may even lower blood pressure and stress levels, according to the National Institutes of Health.