Pet Tracker

Any other Phidget projects you've done not related to the above subjects

Pet Tracker

Postby DamonDCD » Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:38 am

I'm looking for some advice as to the best way to track my pet cat (allowing for future other pets) as he moves around the house and yard.

We have an underground fence for him, which allows him to roam the yard as he pleases. (And I know he won't stray)

However, what I'd like to do is detect when he is in a variety of locations (say, pacing at the patio door to be let in, sitting in his cat tree, eating/drinking from his bowl, under his favorite tree, etc)

I thought about using an RFID setup, but I'm thinking I may need more than just a few centimeters of range. As you approach 15-20cm, the costs go up quite a bit for each reader. (Even with the less expensive readers, can I really bury one near his favorite tree and get a good reading?)

Alternatively, I've been thinking of using motion, pressure and other environmental sensors to detect when he's in various locations. However, as we add other pets to the family it may get difficult to identify individual pets.

I've got years of software and network experience, but I have to admit I'm a relative newbie when it comes to hardware interfaces. That's why Phidgets looks so enticing - so I'm hoping that someone out there can offer some advice.

I guess it may come down to some kind of hybrid solution - the biggest goal right now is to just detect when he's pacing near the door so we can let him in. The other things (sensing where he is around the yard/house) is a nice-to-have, although I'd rather not have to throw away everything when I tackle those next tracking projects.

Any thoughts out there?


Re: Pet Tracker

Postby wiliama » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:32 pm

I would suggest “IR LED with a small battery pulsing at a known rate” for areas no more than 30' x 30', for larger areas “wireless networking” setup for triangulation for areas no larger than 300 x 300, the cheapest things I can think of. I'm looking for a way to have an underground Robot lawnmower fence. Good luck


Re: Pet Tracker

Postby Robert » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:24 am

Although it's RFID based, take a look at this:

It uses one of our RFID readers to read a tag on the cat, and open the cat door. It also takes a picture, and posts it on twitter.

Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:03 pm

Re: Pet Tracker

Postby Capricorn » Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:56 pm

DamonDCD did you finish your cat tracker? Our now deceased cat had tyroid problems and she could not keep her balance, she would fall over frequently. I thought about making her a gyroscopic helmet but alas it didn't happen.
Here's an idea for a new sensor, a dog poop sensor. We have a very nice dog that has one very bad character flaw, he likes to eat his droppings (yes we pick them up but we have a large yard, he has an invisible fence). We've tried many things, he just will not change. Since we sprinkled various things on it to discourage him he's now taken to pawing it first (he's right pawed by the way) so now on top of awful breath and jowls he tracks poop in on the floor.
So short of a muzzle we've failed, maybe a poop sensor that beeps his collar and then maybe shocks him?? Probably about as good an idea as the cat helmet.
Anyway a good location tracking system would be very useful. Cap

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