by Leslie Birch
We are definitely hearing a lot of talk about border patrols these days, but seldom do we hear about the working dogs. A post on Wareable discusses a new collar that will be used in a trial to relay real time health data for the canines. This is a Department of Homeland Security project that was awarded to PetPace for Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Acting commissioner Kevin McAleenan explains why this is needed for the canine teams in the field.
“Our canines are vital partners in achieving CBP’s mission and often operate in intense climates with serious physical demands. This program provides an opportunity to gather new data in the training environment which could translate to improved animal performance and care in the field.”
If you are a dog owner, you are probably thinking that you have a pretty good idea when your dog is tired out. He walks slower, wants to lay down and is probably thirsty. However, dogs working under stressful conditions like bomb sniffing may not give up their fatigue so easily. In fact, through further research I found a post on Vocativ that mentions PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) with canines. According to the post this can be experienced by dogs that have been in combat situations.
Canines that work for CBP do not witness as many explosions and violent acts as combat dogs, but they experience harsh environments and stressful conditions, and work with handlers who, even if they’re properly trained, may not be able to understand when a dog is overexerting itself.
The PetPace collars will be able to transmit and analyze heart rate, respiration and temperature, helping patrol workers to realize when dogs need a break. With the different breeds of dogs on patrol, as well as the varied conditions of the borders, smart collars just make sense. Would you like to try making some wearable tech for your dog? We’ve got a great project to get your started—the GPS Logging Dog Harness. There’s no soldering needed with our stitchable FLORA microcontroller and its matching GPS module. Plus, you can upload the GPS file to Google Maps to see the results of your afternoon hike with your furry friend. It’s a fun way to combine your fave things—dogs and tech.
Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!