High School Student Invents Dog Petting Robotic Arm

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis

A San Diego, California, high school senior has designed an ingenious autobot that will help make your ‘back-to-the-office’ transition as easy as it can be on your dog. Meet The Bowwow, an automatic dog petter that acts as a human hand for your dog when you can’t give the real deal.

When Cassidy Matwiyoff was in 8th grade, she decided she wanted to be on Shark Tank one day. Her mother told her to write a business plan, and that’s just what the then-middle schooler did. 


She used her love of dogs and her own beloved longhaired chihuahua as inspiration for her now patent-pending idea. Cassidy had read that dogs preferred pets over praise, and she decided to create an automatic dog petter so dogs could have pets and love anytime they needed or wanted.


As the chief designer and working with engineers at Chico State, Cassidy and her team repeatedly tested and refined her invention. Despite pretty ardent criticism (one Chico State professor said that his dog would rip her autobot to shreds), she decided to take her idea to the streets. Well, the street dogs, that is, and the ones that were at the local animal shelter.

The shelter dogs couldn’t get enough of the dog petter, and tearing it to shreds was the last thing they tried to do. Cassidy knew she was on to something, and continued her work. Cassidy is now a high school senior at San Diego’s Academy of our Lady of Peace (OLP) and she’s turning the transition of going back to work for your dog on its tail. Her Bowwow is patent-pending, and on track to possibly revolutionize giving some ‘human’ stimulation to shelter dogs and dogs whose parents are no longer working from home. 


She spent hours in the Computer Science lab at OLP and when she was a sophomore, she pitched her robot to a room full of engineering capstone students from Chico State. She presented to a room full of men, and from there was assigned a group of engineers for whom she was the chief designer.


Her field research work was done at the Helen Woodward Animal Shelter, and Cassidy said she found that the dogs who were older than six months really seemed most interested in The Bowwow. They would seek it out and stay with it for pets, showing that Cassidy’s idea could really make a difference in the lives of those dogs waiting to find their forever homes.


Cassidy’s looking to work on securing capital funding and investors for this revolutionary bot, and we have a feeling, she just might make her dream to be on Shark Tank a reality!

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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