Dog-Harnessing The Power Of Walkie Talkies

[javier.borquez] likes to take his dog to the hang out at the dog park around dusk. But once the sun goes down and [Rusio]’s off the leash, running amok with the other dogs, it’s almost impossible to keep track of him.

Sure, there are probably glow-in-the-dark or lighted collars out there, but if you go commercial, chances are good that someone else’s dog will be wearing the same thing. Besides, what’s the fun in buying something that you can do a better job making yourself? With this dog distance indicator harness, you don’t even have to program anything. Instead, it uses a cheap pair of modified walkie talkies to show green LEDs on the harness while the dog is in range, and red when it isn’t.

Although [javier]’s pupper is the best pupper yes he is, [Rusio] can’t be expected to hold down the button and bark his location. His walkie talkie uses a 555-based frequency generator and a glued-down button to speak at 1 kHz.

Over in [javier]’s walkie, there’s a resistor in place of the speaker to keep the talkie parts working. There’s also a half-wave bridge rectifier that charges a capacitor when [Rusio] is within range, and a resistor that drains it when he’s outside the 6-8 meter range. The rectifier’s output goes to a second 555 set up as a Schmitt trigger, which tells a transistor to turn the red LEDs on instead.

If you got stuck on the idea of hearing your dog talk to you over distances, here’s a Bluetooth Babelfish collar.

Alma The Talking Dog Might Win Some Bar Bets

Students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have a brain-computer interface that can measure brainwaves. What did they do with it? They gave it to Alma, a golden labrador, as you can see in the video below. The code and enough info to duplicate the electronics are on GitHub.

Of course, the dog doesn’t directly generate speech. Instead, the circuit watches her brainwaves via an Arduino and feeds the raw data to a Raspberry Pi. A machine learning algorithm determines Alma’s brainwave state and plays prerecorded audio expressing Alma’s thoughts.

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