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Chinese computer engineer builds world’s first AI cat shelter for stray cats

(People's Daily Overseas New Media)    14:49, January 30, 2019

The world’s first AI cat shelter for stray cats. (Photo: Baidu)

Wan Xi, a computer engineer at China’s largest search engine Baidu and a cat lover, has built the world’s first AI cat shelter for stray cats. Besides providing them with a warm home with abundant food and water, the shelter is able to identify 174 kinds of cats and spot common cat diseases with AI technology.

With intelligent temperature and humidity control, as well as a ventilation system, the AI cat shelter provides a comfortable place for stray cats, providing fresh air and a constant temperature of 27 degrees Celsius, the ideal temperature for cats. Abundant cat food and water is provided at the shelter and volunteers constantly refill the bowls.

As an animal lover, Wan, with the help of animal protection volunteers, collected data to learn about stray cats. He discovered that many stray cats on average live no more than two years due to lack of treatment for common diseases. 

“At first, I just wanted to provide them with a warm place in winter with food and water that is not frozen,” Wan said, who designed the cat shelter.

Now, the AI cat shelter is able to identify 174 different kinds of cats with the help of a smart camera and can even automatically allow them access to the shelter.

Furthermore, using Baidu’s no-code EasyDL tool, the shelter is capable of spotting common diseases and conditions in cats, such as gingivostomatitis, feline herpesvirus (FHV), and skin problems. It can also tell whether a cat has been sterilized. This data is sent to nearby volunteers who can provide better help to these cats in need.

An estimated 40,000 cats live on the streets in China. Despite care and help provided by cat lovers and volunteers, they still face challenges such as lack of food and water and unpleasant weather, especially in winter, as their data has found that only four stray cats out of ten manage to survive a cold winter.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Yang Yang, Bianji)

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