Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Sean Magill 

BSc [Hons] Creative Media Technologies

I am a 4th year CMT student in Creative Media Technologies. The course has given me skills such as audio-video production, electronics and coding. I hope to use many of these skills in the future. For my final year project I developed a collar with electronics built in, that can be worn by a dog, trained to sense seizures in its owner. My interest in dogs and technology to support their activities, has been a theme in my projects for some years, as this area interested me. I am going on to study a masters in London in video post production

Seizure alert dog collar system

The aim of this project is to develop a special technological dog collar for seizure alert service dogs which can be activated by the dog. The dog is specially trained for responding to seizures in people with epilepsy. They are trained through approved training providers as an assistance dog for people who experience seizures.
The device created is a dog collar with electronics. When the dog detects that a seizure is about to occur, they can bite down on an alert button which triggers a pre-recorded message to play, through speakers installed in the collar. A warning message will alert not just the owner, but also members of the public nearby that the person is about to have a seizure. A warning message will also be sent to a nominated person such as a family member or a friend to alert them about the seizure also.

Seizure alert dog collar system

The thesis details how the project was planned, the construction and testing of the prototype, user testing and the final project development.
The development involved firstly the DFR0299 recorded voice activation circuit build on Arduino, with a push button, attached to a dog collar, so that passers-by are alerted to the person having a seizure.
The thesis then shows the work done and experimentation using the SIM800L device which sends an alert SMS message to a close friend or family member of the person in distress.
Then there is discussion on how a Quectal L80-M39 can be used to allow the person in distress to be geo-located, which would be helpful to emergency services.

The thesis explains the whole development process, challenges in getting things working and the detailed technical aspects of code, power supply, communications systems and producing a circuit that could be fitted in the collar.

The making of the collar, to be lightweight and fit around the dog's next was written about in detail, plus options for a smaller Arduino. There was also discussion on the type of button control that needed to go into the dog's mouth to enable it to bite down effectively.