New device tracks pets’ location and activity •

ByLance T. Lee

Aug 31, 2022

In many cases, returning to the office after pandemic restrictions were lifted disrupted the newly established close relationship between owners and their pets that emerged during the shutdowns. Many people use pet cameras to find out what their furry friends have been doing around the house during office hours. However, such cameras are needed in every room and the footage should be reviewed afterwards. Now, a research team led by the Georgia Institute of Technology has created a new device called PetTrack that, through a combination of sensors, can provide accurate, real-time indoor locations of pets.

This revolutionary tracking device uses ultra-wideband (UWB) wireless radio sensors to locate the animal and accelerometers to determine whether it is sitting or moving, regardless of walls, furniture or other susceptible objects. to hinder. Everything is located on a small sensor that can be attached to a collar and viewed via a compatible smartphone application.

“PetTrack consists of two things: the first is to know the interior location of the animal and the second is to try to understand its activity,” said the study’s lead author, Ashutosh Dhekne, an assistant professor of computer science at Georgia Tech. “Together, by combining where the animal is and what its orientation is, we can create a summary map of where the animal has been during the day and what activity it was doing.”

Although this device is currently only designed to monitor an animal’s location and position, it could have many possible future applications. For example, pet daycares could use it to let owners see how their pet is doing away from home. In addition, this technology could become a training tool where a beep could sound if an animal is in an area where it is not supposed to be.

“We could use our existing setup to also track pet accidents in the home during potty training,” explained lead study author Neeraj Alavala, a master’s student at Georgia Tech. “We already have the technology to track when and where these accidents are happening and we can make sure these areas are cleaned up. As an extension, we can also give feedback to the pet like a buzzer to train the pet not to enter the house.

“Overall, the idea is to better connect with your pet, using PetTrack. You can detect changes in pet behavior and interact with the animal using location-aware robotic toys,” Professor Dekhne concluded.

The study is published in the proceedings of the 2022 Body-Centered Computing Systems Workshop in Portland, Oregon and can be viewed here.

By Andrei Ionescu, Personal editor

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