Dog Tracker Knows Where the Dirt is

[Eric] is well on his way to making one of the less pleasant chores of pet ownership a bit easier with his dog tracking system. The dog tracker is actually a small part of [Eric’s] much larger OpenHAB system, which we featured back in July.

As a dog owner, [Eric] hates searching the yard for his pet’s droppings. He had been planning a system to make this easier, and a local hackerspace event provided just the opportunity to flesh his ideas out. The Dog Tracker’s primary sensor is a GPS. Most dogs remain motionless for a few seconds while they go about their business. [Eric’s] Arduino-frgbased system uses this fact, coupled with a tilt sensor to determine if the family pet has left any presents.

The tracker relays this information to the home base station using a HopeRF RFM69 transceiver. The RFM69 only has about a 900 foot range, so folks with larger properties will probably want to spring for a cellular network based tracking system. Once the droppings have been tracked, OpenHAB has an interface

[Eric] has also covered runaway dogs in his design. If Fido passes a geo-fence, OpenHAB will raise the alarm. A handheld dog tracker with its own RFM69 can be used to chase down dogs on the run. Future plans are to miniaturize the dog tracker such that it will be more comfortable for a dog to wear.

21 thoughts on “Dog Tracker Knows Where the Dirt is

  1. It would be funny if he fed the coordinates to a metal detector, so that it beeped over dog poop.

    Even easier would be to feed your dog something radioactive and use a geiger counter, but that may be frowned upon.

  2. Only 900′? A 900′ circle is about 15acres. That’s a small farm.

    Great addition to the system. The original post inspired me to get OpenHab up and running for my lights and motion sensors and order a bunch of electronics that are sitting in a pile awaiting some spare time.

    1. Exactly. Just train the dog to poop in one place, and you have no problem to solve using technology. (Not that this technological solution isn’t interesting; it just shouldn’t be necessary.)

      1. “don’t play here kids, the dog did something, go play in the freshly manured grass instead.”

        I think it’s more of a smelly mess issue than your phobia about bacteria. I also think that if a kid smells of dog poo he won’t decide to go eat potato chips at that moment but will instead wash it off.

  3. Very interesting hack. I have seen where someone did a fob-camera and GPS so they could tell where the snapshots were taken by a cat. One taken under the porch was a real good shot. The other pix were tires, oily engine undersides and other cats.
    This was featured on HaD, it was a dime sized ‘duino to power up and shoot, power down and wait…
    Is there any way to get rid of the icon on the satellite pix?
    A it blocks detail needlessly, a circle would do.
    B Is there an icon for …. no we don’t need another icon.
    One that I have seen looks like pastry or ice cream served with the twist on top. Yum.

  4. Seriously, in the Fall it is difficult to find my dog’s doo among the fallen leaves. This would speed up the search. And, No! the leaves fall over the period of weeks so raking the leaves every day over an acre is pretty much out of the question.

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