A playful and biteable ball for dogs. Data-driven approach to select serivce dogs for advanced traning. Wireless data transfer and charging.

Important Notice: All the content of this project is property of Animal-Computer Interaction Lab at Georgia Tech. This article only outline the working process and achievements, and reveal only publicly available data.

Background

The interest of ACI Lab is to create wearable technology to allow working dogs to communicate. In this particular project, the focus is to determine what aspects of canine temperament can be detected from environmental sensors. The goal was to develop classifiers that correlate sensor data to predict the success or failure of assistance dogs in advanced training.

Problem

A successful working dog requires a lot of training. It is obvious that not all dogs are suitable to be trained as working dogs. It is also obvious that dogs come with different personalities, which are strongly associated with future success. However, it is not a trivial job to find the right dogs from the rest. The selection process normally relies on the human experience and expertise, which is useful but sometimes can be inefficient and expensive.

Proposal

With all sorts of sensors and cheap computing power available, it makes sense to create a more accurate data-driven approach. A Biteable rubber ball with which dogs can play seems feasible.

Result

Custom Board

Where chip, wireless module and all sensors are rested.

Energy Solution

Qi protocol based wireless charging solution.

Biteable Ball

Two-piece rubber ball provides protection to the electronics inside. It is resilient to deformation.

Real World Picture

The WagginBall with my cutest dog, Paopao.

Limitation

  1. It is extremely hard to further reduce the ball size, while it is critical to make it smaller such that the ball fits for small breeds puppies.
  2. Wireless charging is not reliable and far from efficient due to the irregular and unpredictable placement of the board inside the ball.
  3. To compensate the reliability issue of wireless charging, the ball have to be made detachable, which makes it prone to failure due to dog saliva and strong external force.