Ever looked at your dog and thought he or she might be getting a little chunky around the sides? The best way to combat that, of course, is to make sure your pooch gets all exercise they need. What better way to monitor this than a dog-style pedometer which tracks your progress?
The GPS Dog Collar by Becky Stern of Adafruit Industries not only shows you how far your dog walks on a typical trip around the block, but also displays a progress bar to make sure you and your dog achieve a set goal. The collar is made up of two breakout boards (one an Adfruit GPS board, the other an Atmega32u4 Breakout Board), an OLED display, and wire-edged ribbon--even the ribbon decoration has a use!
To get the collar working, you'll need to wire up the two boards. The OLED display connects to both the GPS board and Atmega32u4 board too, but you'll will need to do some coding for it all to work together; fortunately the code you need is available on Github. The most difficult part of this project is making sure all the pins match up correctly between each bit of hardware, but Becky clearly explains how to match up the wires.
The wire-edge ribbon serves a handy way of holding the two boards and display together, and the battery pack lives in a neat pouch underneath. The wire edges come in useful to make the ruffled effect and tie up any loose ends, and keeps everything tightly locked in.
The beauty of projects like this one is that you could expand on this idea further. For instance, thanks to the on-board GPS, you could also turn the collar into a tracker, either to track your dog if it escapes or even document where you go for your walks together.
To find out more about the parts and tools you will need, visit the Adafruit Learning Systems page.
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