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Category: Beasts

The true secret of DOGS—never need to walk your dog again! Tip number five will HORRIFY you.

Background:

Dogs! You sometimes need to walk them, but maybe you don’t want to.

Sure, you could walk your dog on a treadmill or giant hamster wheel inside the house (Fig 1), but maybe you still want to give your dog the authentic outdoor-walk experience. Currently: not possible.

turnspit-dog-ancient-times

Fig 1: Ancient people knew that a “turnspit dog” could be an all-natural eco-friendly power source for charging a cell phone. Image is from a historical woodcut.

Proposal:

A human on a dog walk typically provide two things: 1) navigation guidance and 2) the ability to pull on a dog’s leash if necessary.

As described below, we can easily replicate these two factors without requiring a human to go on the walk (Figs. 2a, 2b):

dog-harness

Fig 2: The dog will wear a  sweater-like harness (blue) with an attachment point at the top. This harness should also include a GPS tracker.

dog-leash

Fig 3: This attachment point will have an articulated set of powered joints coming out of it, which will support a false hand (green) that holds the leash (yellow). The hand can be remotely controlled to pull the leash in various directions. (The harness provides the support / counter-force to allow the hand to pull on the leash.)

Once the harness is properly attached, and the leash is affixed to the artificial hand, the dog is ready for a walk!

dog-backwarddog-forward

Fig 4: By extending the hand backward or forward, the dog will feel as if it is being pulled in that direction (although the harness/hand combination is not capable of pulling the entire dog in any direction at all).

We have two options for actually controlling the hand:

  1. The walk could be handled automatically by a computer (using the GPS data to control the hand
  2. Or a human operator could manually direct the leash-holding hand, as shown in figure 5.

dog-cam

Fig 5: A camera attachment will allow the dog operator to see where they are going. For the ultimate experience, a 360° camera could be attached to allow for immersive telepresence operation via VR goggles.

PROS: Now you can walk your dog while in the safety and comfort of your own house!

CONS: May cause the powerful dog-walking industry to collapse, so there will be lots of opposition from “Big Dog-Walking.”

dog-walks-itself

Supplementary Figure A: Artist’s original rendition of the dog-walking system. Captions are hand-lettered in ink.

sketch-dog-1

Supplementary Figure B: Material for a future patent filing.

sketch-dog-2

Supplementary Figure C: Additional material for a future patent filing. Original idea, do not steal.

Clawed beasts will rend your flesh unless you obey this one weird tip! Cats and homeowners hate it!

Background:

As you are no doubt aware, the humble housecat is one of the world’s most popular pets.

cat

Fig 1: A standard issue cat. This is the base model.

The issue:

Sometimes, a cat needs to be taken somewhere, and this typically requires a cat carrier. But most cats are hesitant to enter a cat carrier, and a cat-stewarding individual may have to resort to increasingly desperate measures in order to solve the cat-to-carrier conundrum.

cat-into-carrier-how

Fig 2: The cat needs to go into the cat carrier. BUT HOW?? This clawed feline has its own ideas about where it should be. Specifically: elsewhere.

Proposal:

Although it may be possible to disguise the cat carrier and somehow trick the cat into enter it, the most straightforward solution is to simply purchase a giant funnel and bolt it to the wall of a house (Fig 3). Then, the cat-loading procedure is straightforward, as seen in figure 3.

funnel

Fig 3: The process is simple: Once the cat carrier is in place below the funnel, we must simply 1) raise the cat to the lip of the funnel and drop it in. 2) gravity does the rest! Note: for especially fragile felines, a pillow may be placed on the side (bottom, in this orientation) of the carrier in order to soften the deceleration process. If the cat fails to slide down the funnel properly, one may apply olive oil or an industrial engine lubricant to the sides of the funnel to expedite the procedure.

PROS: Makes loading a cat into a cat carrier a straightforward and pleasant process.

CONS: Having an industrial-grease-covered cat in a cat carrier is actually a new problem of its own, which unfortunately we do not have the space to solve here.


Sponsored Tip (BELOW): One weird tip to reducing the number of annoying comments on your web site! Filter out comments by keyword using these three words, and watch your comment problems evaporate. (Tip is optimized for the English language, and may fail to detect many spam comments.)

one-weird-tip-to-removing-dumb-comments


 

 

 

 

Your city can save millions of dollars a year by employing this one weird animal!

Background:

Modern buildings with large windows generally do not provide any way of opening the windows. This means that window washers are required and, additionally, that the window washers must work from the exterior of the building.

window-washer-snail-skyscraper

Fig 1: Window washing is a hazardous dangerous occupation that can be streamlined by making use of an ecologically-friendly natural and organic cage-free solution that already exists—the humble snail.

Proposal:

Specifically, we can use a terrestrial variant of the common aquarium snail to clean all the dirt and grime off a building.

All we need to do is:

  • Find a type of snail that can climb up glass (easy) and is air-breathing (easy)
  • Find a food source for this snail that will motivate it to climb all around the glass
  • Coat our skyscraper / other building with this substance. For example, if the snail likes to eat honey, then we would pour honey off the roof of the building until the skyscraper was covered in it (as the honey slowly drips down the building).
  • Finally, unleash the cleaning snails to clean off both the honey and any assorted window grime.

Conclusion:

This is an eco-friendly way of washing windows that does not use any harsh chemicals.

PROS: Reduces snail unemployment.

CONS: Increases human unemployment.

Is the origin of the necktie to be found in the Old Norse word “šnæktie,” literally meaning “snake tie”? Technically speaking, it is not possible to disprove this assertion with 100% confidence!

Background:

The necktie is, in modern society, a useless relic of a bygone era. But it could still be redeemed!

Proposal:

While the necktie serves no purpose currently, it occupies valuable clothing real-estate that might be put to better use.

Specifically, a snake could be trained to coil itself around the user in such a fashion as to approximate the shape of a necktie.

Then, this snake could be trained to leap away from the user and chomp on anyone who was assaulting the user; essentially serving as a “concealed carry” guard animal.

This could reduce the number of robberies and other assaults, since criminals would be unable to distinguish between easy marks with garish ties and “concealed snake-tie protected” individuals.

snaketie.png

Fig 1: This attractively patterned spitting cobra would make a fine snake tie.

Conclusion:

While snakes are relatively neglected in the world of animal training, this could be the opportunity for the snake to rehabilitate its poor reputation.

PROS: Could reduce crime and decrease the user’s prejudice against venomous reptiles.

CONS: Snakes may have difficulty distinguishing between random passersby and legitimately threatening individuals.

One weird trick that the FAT CATS don’t want you to know. By which I mean actual cats who are fat.

Background:

If you have a pet, it’s probably overweight.

Sorry to have to break the news to you this way.

Your cat / dog / snake / whatever probably does not get enough exercise, and you most likely compound the problem by over-feeding it.

fido

Fig 1: In the wild, food isn’t found in conveniently-labeled bowls that don’t fight back!

The proposal:

Luckily, there is a solution: instead of just allowing your pet to eat in peace, make it earn its meal by eating out of a special motorized food bowl that constantly tries to escape.

(The “minimum viable product” version of this concept is just a pet bowl superglued onto a Roomba vacuum.)

More complex versions might include a food bowl on a remote-controlled toy car, a food bowl on spider-like appendages (see Fig. 2), or even a quad-copter drone with attached food bowl (see Fig. 3).

By using this type of food bowl, two requirements can be met simultaneously:

* Your pet gets some additional exercise.

* Your pet’s hunting instinct is satisfied. This is the same principle involved in chasing a laser pointer.

wheeled

Fig 2: A food bowl could be placed on motorized robotic legs, possibly with wheels on the bottom, to allow the bowl to make a quick getaway in any terrain.

quadcopter food bowl

Fig 3: The quadcopter variant opens up additional options for pet-food-acquisition difficulty, but may be difficult in a normal sized house. Beware of using this with pet birds, as contact with rotors may not be beneficial to avian physiology.

PROS: Your pet can become the apex predator that it was destined to be.

CONS: If your pet becomes too skilled, it may supplant you as ruler of the home, eventually leading to the same “Planet of the Apes” scenario seen in the “train your pet to bite you if you procrastinate” idea.

I never believed the disdain that my cat had for my poor time management skills, until I watched this one shocking video and applied this one weird trick that doctors hate.

Background:

Procrastination consumes billions of hours of otherwise-productive work every year. If there was a way to even reclaim a tiny portion of this lost time and direct it toward useful pursuits, society would be immeasurably improved.

The specific issue:

In particular, now that Internet access is required for many types of legitimate work, it can be difficult to maintain focus on (say) doing one’s taxes when there are thousands of un-viewed cat videos staring directly at you from your browser’s “Unwatched Cat Videos” tab.

Proposal:

There are many solutions that involve limiting access to specific web sites, but these most effective method for avoiding procrastination in this manner may be classic “negative reinforcement.”

In this specific plan, a household animal will be trained to recognize the difference between legitimate computer usage and procrastination (Figure 1).

comparison

Fig 1:  Filling out spreadsheets or tax forms (left) would count as legitimate computer usage. This is visually obviously distinct from wasting time on a video clip site (right). Even the most technically un-savvy dog or cat could be trained to discern when a user is watching a video on the computer.

Next, after the household animal (potentially a dog or cat, or perhaps a bird that could follow the user around at all times, parrot-on-shoulder-style) has been trained to identify legitimate computer usage vs procrastination, the animal will be trained to harass the procrastinator in some way whenever they procrastinate. Generally, this would presumably involve biting, stinging, or beak-ing, but the universe of possibilities is nearly endless.

angry

Fig 2: This angry bird could peck the computer user whenever procrastination is detected.

snake-fight

Fig 3: For severe cases of procrastination, nature’s deadliest animal could be employed to correct the sub-optimal behavior.

PROS: An interesting reversal of the usual meaning of “animal cruelty” may help save our nation from Internet-related productivity loss.

CONS: May result in a “Planet of the Apes”-like scenario in which we regret arming animals and giving them dominion over us. Whoops!

 

Take your pet to work, even if it’s extremely ill-tempered and beastly

Proposal: a system for virtually bringing pets into the office

Pet owners with 9-to-5 jobs may find that they miss their noble animal companion during work hours.

Some workplaces will allow well-behaved animals to hang out at work, but that is usually limited to dogs and draft animals. In any case, this addresses only a small subset of all possible domesticated animals.

However, with this new solution, we need not worry about badly-behaved animals, coworkers with allergies, or any other issues.

Details

  1. The user must construct a “home office” environment that matches their work environment. For example, if there is a desk, a chair, and a monitor at work, those must also be present in the “home office.”
  2. This “home office” is actually just an environment where the user’s pet will dwell during work hours.
  3. The home office will contain many cameras (the blue rectangles in Fig. 1), which will reconstruct the exact location of the pet in the home office environment. This could be done with a technology similar to the Microsoft Kinect (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinect).
  4.  Finally, while at work, the user will wear a VR headset at all times. The headset will superimpose the home image of the pet on top of the user’s identical desk at work. It is possible that the desk and furnishings at home may need to be painted green in order to “green screen”-out the non-pet elements of the home office.

cat-virtual-home

Fig 1: The user’s home office (or wherever their pet lives) will need to be configured with the exact same layout and furniture as the user’s desk / space at work. Cameras (in blue, above) will determine the exact orientation of the pet and render it in a 3-dimensional voxel space. Note: constructing the home office would probably be easy for most office jobs, but if a user’s job is (for example) deep-sea giant squid inspector, it could be more difficult to affordably re-create the work environment at home.

cat-virtual-office

Fig 2: Here, we can see the virtual-reality-goggles-wearing pet owner at the right. The cat image appears real to the headset wearer, but is naturally invisible to everyone else. Since the home office has the same layout as the work office, the pet’s actions at home will appear to match the work environment; e.g., the pet could climb onto the work table or monitor, since there is actually a real-world analogue of those objects in the pet’s environment at home.

Note that it may also be possible to run this system in reverse; a pet could also wear a virtual-reality headset and obtain a “holographic” image of its owner at work.

PROS: Allows a pet owner to get 8+ additional hours of pet enjoyment out of a day.

CONS: May require substantial real-estate to be dedicated to the “home office” pet environment.

cat-virtual-patent

Bonus figure: Here is a potential patent application illustration for this amazing idea.