Wednesday, February 9, 2011

LED Dog Collar

So this is a pretty simple project, but I thought it was a clever idea. I have 2 dogs, a lab and a lab mix. The lab "Sunshine" likes to runaway a lot if we let her outside at all. She always comes back, but we can't find her whenever she leaves. This worries us sometimes because we don't want a car to hit her, especially at night. Anyways, my idea came from this that I could make some type of collar that at least at night, would make her more visible.

Thus came the idea of a LED dog collar. Now, this basic one has to be turned on and off (which means that I would have to let her out on purpose to use it) but it is just a prototype. I have ideas about how to make it automatically turn on, but more on that later.

So the collar runs off an Atmel AVR ATTINY2313. It has 5 blue LEDs, and is powered by 3 AAA batteries. I also etched a custom circuit board (toner transfer method) and then covered most of the components in hot glue. The LEDs and all the wires on the collar are also mounted using hot glue. Now I definitely could have used a smaller avr, but the attiny2313 was the only micro I had lying around other than my bigger ATMEGA 328 from the arduino which I used as an ISP to program the tiny. The code is very simple, written in C, it just does several different strobe and "police light" patterns. Like I said before the device has a switch to turn it on and off.

Here are some photos and a video of it in action:











































































Now I was talking about the switch before, how it seems kind of pointless for the original intent of the collar (in case my dog runs away). So I was thinking, how do I trigger the LED collar to come on when my dog is outside? Well, I thought one idea, since it is winter right now, it is much colder outside. So if I hooked a temperature sensor up to the MCU, I could cause low temperatures to activate the LEDs. Just an idea, still a work in progress.


Video:

11 comments:

  1. Why not use an LDR to determine a light threshold? If the dog is out in the night, it will be darker than day... The only problem is that you gonna need to turn the lights off for a small time, measure light and turn them on. Also, the LDR has some "inertia" in the resistance change... The time off needs to take this in account.

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  2. I had though of a photosensor or something but the only problem with that is if the dog is wearing the collar constantly then if the dog is in the house at night sleeping when it is dark, won't the light be on all the time at night and not just when she is outside?

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  3. use a rfid tag and reader... run out the door past the rfid reader, bang lights come on... or you could use a GPS and have the lights come on when the dog starts moving away from the preset way points in the collar... just a couple of idea's... actually, I like the GPS idea... you could include a transponder to broadcast the position as well... hmmmm, this starting to sound interesting... ;>)

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  4. I was hoping to do something like that eventually, once I get more saavy with mcu's, the gps thing would be great to find my dog :-). Good idea about the way point trigger.

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  5. A creepy idea for you:

    The collar must flash when your dog barks.

    Haha, that would be awesome.

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  6. Your led dog collars are perfect for hunting dogs, because is very easy to keep their tracks and find the pray very easy. Are you selling them, because a friend of min is a hunter and I'm sure he'll be very interested to buy one of your led collars.

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  7. I could make one I suppose, tell your friend to contact me if he's interested. However, they are not waterproof thus far, so if your dog goes swimming it will wreck it.

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  8. wow..i would like to have one..:)wish something like that is available at www.greenearthdog.com, my dog always sneeks out at night (might be looking out for some girls, haha), i wish it has an alarm too that can wake me up in case he runs out...

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  9. This can prove to be helpful in dog training, and plus IT LOOKS AWESOME!! Hah, but I don't think I ever thought of training my dog at nights just to make use of this kind of collar.

    But with some added features, I must say that I'd buy this collar if ever went on sale!

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  10. This blog post have given perfect knowledge about led dog collars. Your led dog collars are perfect for hunting dogs, because is very easy to keep their tracks and find the pray very easy.

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