December 13, 2020

A Beeping Toy Helps A Blind Dog Play Fetch

By haziqbinarif


When a beloved pet goes blind, it doesn’t mean they can’t or don’t want to play fetch anymore, only that the game must change a bit. [Bud Bennett]’s dog Lucy has slowly lost her sight to progressive renal atrophy but is still up for playing with toys, so [Bud] decided to make a beeper that can go inside various stuffed toys to help Lucy locate them. Lucy doesn’t care for commercial toys that chime constantly, especially once she’s got it in her mouth.

This tiny package is centered around an LIS3DH accelerometer and programmed with a PIC16F18313. When the toy is thrown up in the air, the accelerometer determines that it’s in free fall and triggers an interrupt on the PIC. The piezo buzzer starts beeping so Lucy can find it, then stops a short while later and waits for the next free fall. The power dissipation is so low that [Bud] expects to charge the 120 mAh LiPo battery about once a year.

We bet that communication between [Bud] and Lucy is already pretty good, but maybe she could be more expressive with a doggy soundboard.




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