Keep Your Pet Entertained While You’re Away With This Robotic Ball Toy

The ball is as simple as pet toys come, but even the classic design can be improved upon. Some of the hottest pet accessories on the market today are interactive toys, like Kong chew toys and other puzzle items with room for treats inside. Unlike those products, this ball doesn’t cease being entertaining the moment your pet solves a puzzle. The Wicked Ball, currently raising money on Indiegogo, rolls, bounces, and holds your cat or dog’s attention all on its own. Though it looks like a regular ball, the Wicked Ball is actually a robotic toy. A motorized wheel propels the ball around your home, distracting your pet from any trouble it might get into when no one’s looking. The gadget can be set to three modes: gentle, normal, and active. In addition to rolling, the ball also vibrates and bounces across the ground to keep things interesting for animals. The Wicked Ball is designed to be totally autonomous, so pet owners can rest easy leaving their pet alone with it at home. A built-in collision sensor helps make this possible by alerting the ball to incoming walls and objects so it can avoid getting stuck in tight places. The toys runs on a battery that charges vi...

This year, Hasbro rolled out a new line of toys called Yellies. The arachnid-esque “Spooders” are

This year, Hasbro rolled out a new line of toys called Yellies. The arachnid-esque “Spooders” are fuzzy, motorized creatures activated by people yelling. The louder kids yell, the faster the Yellies scoot. If this description gives you pause, you aren’t alone. Giving a child a toy that requires yelling — specifically, yelling at increasingly aggressive volumes — seems like a declaration of war against anyone trying to enjoy a quiet, peaceful Christmas. “Who on earth thought inventing this toy would be a good idea?!” Karen Alpert, the writer behind the parenting blog Baby Sideburns, said on Facebook. Others are similarly baffled by why someone would give Yellies as a gift, except as an act of revenge. In a viral Facebook post, one woman described another problem created by Yellies, saying the toy spider began terrorizing her son. “I yelled at it. The spider ran for it,” Hilary Hard wrote. “Leo starts screaming… the louder he screams, the faster the spider pursued him.” Things escalated from there, with the toy backing her son into the corner as he shrieked in terror, Hard said. “So, in short, maybe a little electr...