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Instant Pet Locator

Find wandering pets using GPS
  (+7, -2)
(+7, -2)
  [vote for,

After the resounding success of my Super Duper Vacuum Delousing Unit, I was encouraged to come up with yet more ideas to make life easier for pet owners. Now, it has come to my attention that my neighbour Herr Grossmund is often outside in his garden calling for his dachshund. Also, Frau Furtz spends a lot of time calling out to our cat, Serendipity -- time which could be better spent baking her famous apfelstrudel.

I am pleased therefore to announce my latest invention, the Instant Pet Locator. It is a small gadget attached to a pet's collar. Unlike cruel and ineffective gadgets sold in the USA, which administer an electric shock to the pet if it strays out of bounds marked by a radio-wave fence, the Instant Pet Locator is in fact a GPS receiver, which broadcasts its location to a unit mounted to the roof of your house.

This unit is in turn hooked up to the web. Hence it is a simple matter for you to at any time log on and discover the exact location of your pet. Instead of standing on the balcony yelling, just click, look, and exclaim: Aha! So it seems Serendipity is again tearing up Herr Grossmund's bonsai trees!

Dr Furtz, Jun 09 2001

Cat Community Network http://www.halfbake...Community_20Network
Use that technology for tabby telecoms as well ... [Aristotle, Jun 09 2001]

PetJak http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/PetJak
Same basic idea, slightly different business model. [jutta, Jun 09 2001]

Wheels of Zeus http://www.woz.com/2005/index.html
Almost this exact invention is being baked by Steve Wozniak, one of the founders of Apple. [krelnik, Apr 05 2005]


       Radio transmitters? Those things only work on cops-and-robbers TV shows. Also, I doubt the unit used to determine direction and distance from the transmitter are easily available, affordable, or operable by amateurs.   

       Also, hurting your pet to control it and finding out where it is are two fundamentally different issues.   

       In conclusion I would not consider this invention 'baked' unless it utilizes GPS or something equally effective and affordable.
Dr Furtz, Jun 11 2001

       Radio transmitters are regularly used to monitor wildlife, but it's true that they're not generally available for pet-tracking.   

       It seems rather narrow-minded to limit ourselves to pets. If we can come up with inexpensive localizers, there are plenty of other applications too.
egnor, Jun 11 2001

       [egnor]: Like all those child-locators, or TV-remote-control-locators, or xxx-locators listed on here.
angel, Jun 11 2001

       Did anyone else think the following scene from "Crocodile Hunter" was funny?   

       Steve has been invited to join a group of conservationists to find some animal they've tagged with a radio transmitter and wrestle it to the ground. They stop the car and the radio tracker expert starts to track the beacon:   

       [Radio tracker man]: "It seems he's over to the east here, maybe some distance a way. We'll have to search for a while...it's often quite difficult to...
[Steve] (using no tracking equipment, pointing south): "There he is!"
(Camera zooms in on the target animal.)
beauxeault, Jun 11 2001

       A broadcasting GPS system is too heavy and takes too much power. The more realistic approach (PetJak) has already been proposed on the halfbakery.
jutta, Jun 11 2001

       sounds like a police state to me !
ginger cat, Jun 11 2001

       Aha! It was my impression that the splendid PetJak was for use only in emergencies, for example when the pet has not returned home for a day or so -- roughly the amount of time you would allow to elapse before, in the case of a human, filing a missing person report. But if Frau Furtz could freely call PetJak HQ on an everyday basis -- even several times a day -- then this would work wonderfully.   

       Of course, the advantage of a satellite-based system would be that one could use it anywhere in the world, even non-industrialized countries. I still hope that clever Japanese companies such as Sony (who have done an incredible job with mobile phones) will continue to shrink GPS devices and make my idea a reality.   

       Oh, and ginger cat -- it's for your own good! Be a good kitty now and let daddy put this pretty little collar on you, here kitty kitty...
Dr Furtz, Jun 12 2001


       i am doing a research for my dissertation project and i chose the GPS technology for my topic....the topic that i am doing on is "A research on applying GPS locators in law enforcement in Malaysia"....before i will continue with the research i need to learn more about the technology. And after i have learnt what i need i will be surveying and interviewing law enforcement officers, lawyers and several key individuals in the Malaysian Justice Department. My idea is can a GPS locator be implanted into a human being and used for tracking.   

       Generally, can something as small as a microchip be implanted into a human being, and can the GPS locate or identify their position?   

       Please may i have further information about this? It may or may not pose as a business oppurtunity, GPS is something new to Malaysia and can prove to be very useful.   

       Thank you and regards,   

       Sharin Ling Kean Siew sharin@cuteandcuddly.com
sharin, Sep 29 2002

       Radar Golf has come up with plans for a golf ball that can be found by a handheld locator within 100 or 200 yards, but they have no plans to move on to pet tags at this time. The CEO suggested hanging one of their radar golf balls from the pet's collar, but it is not practical for small dogs, nor cats.   

       However, modern RFID technology should soon make it possible to put a lightweight chip in a pet tag on the collar. When you wonder where the cat/dog is, drive around the neighborhood until the handheld unit starts to beep. Then park and track down you pet (or the collar with the expensive tags, that your pet came home without again...)
Shooter, Apr 05 2005

       There are radio transmitters for dogs - they are used by hunters and set up for large dogs that travel considerable distances. My son could use something smaller for his terrier. Just saw an ad for a U.K. company that is promoting a "loc8tor". It is small enough to fit on a key ring (so you can find your keys). It would also work on the collar of a small dog. Range is only 600 feet, no GPS, just a short range radio signal. But it would help him track her (the terrier) down if she decides to go hunting in the brush at the dog park.
plawin, Jul 24 2006

       With a homebrew program on my DS I can zero in on wifi access points by signal strength. USB wifi adaptors can be very small and use very little power. Just modify one to constantly broadcast an AP with a unique name, and use your favourite wifi-enabled device to track it down. It might also make a noise when you try to connect to it.
Bukkakinator, Aug 08 2008

       There are plenty of GPS/Bluetooth devices on the market now and they're quite compact.   

       Give them WiFi roaming capability and you've got a solution, in urban areas at least.
8th of 7, Aug 08 2008

       ..and collars with little cat lap tops..No bells or whistles, a simple laptop that the cat can use.
skinflaps, Aug 08 2008

       I have two serious problems with the invisible fence model. The first is that if the dog is particularly excited, there is nothing physically preventing them from crossing over the line. Second, there is usually little or nothing inficating that said fence exists.   

       Both of these are serious concerns for a pedestrian/cyclist/driver who sees a dog running at them with no indication that the dog will stop.
MechE, Aug 01 2011

       // which pet owners are legally required to do anyway, //   

       Not for cats, in the UK.   

       <... MUST... RESIST.... RANT....IMPULSE ....>   

       // I'd shoot it with a B.B. gun. //   

       You're just a big softie, aren't you ?   

       // If it happened again, I'd shoot it with a rifle //   

       With us, there is no "second time". Good old Mossberg ...   

       // or let my dogs loose after it. //   

       That's just wrong, they might catch something nasty (at the least, fleas) or get a bone stuck in their throats.   

       // You would arrive to find your cat's tracking collar in my garbage bin. //   

       ... along with a Claymore mine with your name on it.   

       #include <EOSSACR.H>   

       Nearly forgot ... RESISTANCE IS FUTILE ...   

       // "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." //   

       An ounce of buckshot is worth a pound of cat pepper.
8th of 7, Aug 01 2011

       // pointing a radar gun at a cat //   

       If you use a sufficiently powerful continuous-wave Magnetron, it reappears as someone's instant ready meal.   

       For which we are truly thankful. Amen.
8th of 7, Aug 01 2011


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