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Author Topic: Letting the dogs out  (Read 349 times)

Weaver

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Letting the dogs out
« on: September 12, 2018, 04:51:30 AM »

I wonder if someone could make a system driven by vision recognition and other sensors that would open doors and let dogs and cats go out to the toilet on their own and then let them in again? These things driven on collars are a pain and the collars keep failing. So a vision system would be far far better in my view.

I wonder if anyone has already done it. There would also be a question of training. If a dog has normally been used to going to find a human and then having the human take the dog out, then the dog would have to be retrained to go to the door on its own. That might be very difficult to achieve unless the dog just picks it up accidentally. It might be difficult because your presence in the retraining process taking it to be near the door is just reinforcing the status quo - that you need to come with it. But if the dog were somehow to just go near to the door on its own and then see the door open magically then that could start the expectation / association process.

Much better than cat doors and dog doors. The door closing / opening engineering itself would be a nightmare unless done with very high quality mechanicals and electronic systems and the whole lot designed as a unit for this job.

Our two young tomcats love late evening, last-chance, dog-walk time. They go out when the dog goes out, and the cats run around crazily in the darkness, then coming back to the light where moths gather, jumping up and eating as many moths as they can. They look forward to the ritual. Then the dog comes upstairs to his dog bed in our bedroom. Buidheag sometimes needs to be evicted from the dog bed as the dog waits miserably. Humans are usually called in, with a pitiable look, to help here, but nowadays Buidheag has come to realise that she will inevitably get ordered out, so she tends to just give in when the dog looks at her, and just gets out. Then the kittens come racing up to the bedroom along with Caoimhe. Often there is an hour of crazy play racing around on top of and under the bed, and in and out of the bedroom door. Caoimhe meanwhile just stays cuddle up in my arm, as close as possible. When Somhairle decides it is time for sleep, Pangur Bàn is usually tormenting him for play still. Finally the tomcats curl up together, or sometimes all three oriantals in a heap. Sometimes, less often of late, Ciarán wants to go out to the toilet and is desperately waiting for Janet to get a move on and take him out. A high tech system would be very good at this time as he could go out as early as he likes, but only if retraining was successful.
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chenks

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Re: Letting the dogs out
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2018, 07:46:45 AM »

how is such a system going to recognise your particular cat or dog?
or would such a sytem simply open the door for any cat/dog that triggered the system?

burglars would love this, simply find a cat and push it towards the door and it magically opens for them.
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kitz

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Re: Letting the dogs out
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2018, 08:47:58 AM »

>> These things driven on collars are a pain and the collars keep failing.

I have a microchip cat flap.   Best £45 I ever spent as it keeps out manky B&W tom who would eat my cats food and started spraying in my kitchen.
Both my cats were already chipped as kittens so it was easy to just swap out the cat flap, but I don't think its very expensive. My vets had a sign up last year saying £9 but some places do it cheaper/free.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Letting the dogs out
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2018, 10:19:51 AM »

how is such a system going to recognise your particular cat or dog?

Facial recognition software?
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Weaver

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Re: Letting the dogs out
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2018, 10:31:54 AM »

A recognition system that uses machine vision of the usual type would be an asset for some people who only want to let certain particular cats or dogs in. I could have used such a system to ban poor Tom, but now I think I would have to give way, give in to pity and let him in for a warm up or a snack as that would save the need to keep taking food out to him in the garage. Janet has been leaving the Garage door open slightly open on the sheltered side, and assures me that it never rains in but I am not very happy about this. Even though he likes being in the garages where he has straw bales, he likes to come into the house and sleep in the spare room or at the top of the stairs and I think I would rather shut the garage and encourage him to come into the house for his own benefit despite the chaos that ensues when he meets up with our other cats who do not accept him even now.

If I decide I don’t need recognition there would be a majority I suspect who would most definitely require it.
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chenks

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Re: Letting the dogs out
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2018, 10:42:04 AM »

Facial recognition software?

on a cat or dog?
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d2d4j

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Re: Letting the dogs out
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2018, 10:51:47 AM »

Hi

I am not sure if anyone watched or remembers a cat program from a year or two ago, which had cameras and tracking devices attached to cats, to see what they were up to

This program showed cat flaps as in this thread, but the other cats still gained access into the house - they simply followed/pushed behind the cat with the unlock key as the cat was going through the cat flap.

Many thanks

John
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Letting the dogs out
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2018, 12:15:46 PM »

on a cat or dog?

I meant it as a joke.   But after posting I spent a few minutes on Google, found nothing is in particular worth linking to, but there is some evidence it might be viable. ::)
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Letting the dogs out
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2018, 12:38:33 PM »

Another option, that might be more reliable than face recognition, would be paw-print recognition..?

https://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/20/tech/mobile/iphone-dog-paw-print-ireport/index.html

I think I’d want to extend the system to include some 2nd factor in authentication, just in case a villian should force the animal, under duress, to paw the sensor.   A possibility might be based on voice recognition, requiring a specific ‘Woof’ or sound that the animal must learn, to combine with offering up of paw?

Actually, these ideas could have commercial value, I should keep them to myself.  Look out for me on “Dragons’ Den”?
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chenks

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Re: Letting the dogs out
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2018, 12:50:23 PM »

Another option, that might be more reliable than face recognition, would be paw-print recognition..?

https://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/20/tech/mobile/iphone-dog-paw-print-ireport/index.html

I think I’d want to extend the system to include some 2nd factor in authentication, just in case a villian should force the animal, under duress, to paw the sensor.   A possibility might be based on voice recognition, requiring a specific ‘Woof’ or sound that the animal must learn, to combine with offering up of paw?

Actually, these ideas could have commercial value, I should keep them to myself.  Look out for me on “Dragons’ Den”?

for a dog it would need to be a snout print, as those are apparently as unique as a human finger print.

i supposed we could just give the dog and cat a key to the door, and they can let themselves in and out as required.
that seems much easier than all the facial recognition nonsense.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Letting the dogs out
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2018, 02:35:34 PM »

One obvious problem with giving a key to a cat or a dog is, they have no coat pocket, handbag or trouser pocket in which to carry the key.   I can’t see a way around that, other than making the animal wear suitable clothing, with pockets.  Cats and dogs have had no evolutionary reason to acquire the dexterity to dress themselves, so I suspect the owners would end up dressing them each day, which could become a chore.

I am not saying the problems of giving them keys are insurmountable, but these and others issues might need to be addressed.

Re snout recognition, that may hold some promise.  The owner would probably need to disguise the sensor as some common everyday object that the animal would recognise as a thing worthy of intense sniffing.  I feel sure, with enough time, I could think of something appropriate for most dogs.
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j0hn

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Re: Letting the dogs out
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2018, 04:24:42 PM »

I had a cat flap at my previous address which worked from the micro chip in my cats or from tags they provide which can be attached to collars.


I am not sure if anyone watched or remembers a cat program from a year or two ago, which had cameras and tracking devices attached to cats, to see what they were up to

This program showed cat flaps as in this thread, but the other cats still gained access into the house - they simply followed/pushed behind the cat with the unlock key as the cat was going through the cat flap.

I watched this. I thought it was a brilliant programme.

My cat flap didn't suffer from this as once it closed behind my cat it locked immediately. If 2 of my cats (both chipped and registered on the cat flap) were chasing each other through the flap, the 2nd cat would often be locked in/out for a few seconds between the flap locking behind cat 1 as it then took a few seconds to register the 2nd cat.

It could also be set to 4 different locking methods.
Locked both ways, in only, out only, in and out. This was great for when the cats were out late at night. I could set the flap so they could come back in but couldn't leave again.

I'm not able to fit a cat flap to my current property. It's a Housing Association property and the back door is a very expensive solid wooden fire door. I don't think they would be keen on me drilling through it to fit a cat flap.
Our last place had uPVC doors and the middle/bottom panel could pop out and be replaced. I bought a spare panel and fit the cat flap without asking my landlord.
When they came and saw the door they nearly had a heart attack till I showed them the the replacement panel at the ready. I replaced this prior to leaving to the landlords satisfaction.

My partner doesn't like the idea of me cutting a hole in the kitchen window unfortunately.

I would be surprised if they didn't make something similar for dogs. Though it depends on the size of the dog. Wee dogs will be easier to cater for.

Have you seen Amazon Prime tv advert with the wee tiny Pony and the big door flap? Though even I could climb through 1 of those.

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kitz

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Re: Letting the dogs out
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2018, 06:57:54 PM »

I am not sure if anyone watched or remembers a cat program from a year or two ago, which had cameras and tracking devices attached to cats, to see what they were up to

This program showed cat flaps as in this thread, but the other cats still gained access into the house - they simply followed/pushed behind the cat with the unlock key as the cat was going through the cat flap.

Yes I watched that series.  Loved it :)

One obvious problem with giving a key to a cat or a dog is, they have no coat pocket, handbag or trouser pocket in which to carry the key.   I can’t see a way around that, other than making the animal wear suitable clothing, with pockets.

Easypeasy with a microchip.   :)
By law all dogs have to be chipped these days.
As per my earlier post - both my cats were chipped as kittens by the breeder so I didn't have to bother.   Some charities will chip cats/dogs for free.   At my vets it's £9 to get the veterinary nurse to do it.   I watched the breeder chip Zoe - it literally took 5 secs and then a couple of mins for me to fill in the form.


I had a cat flap at my previous address which worked from the micro chip in my cats or from tags they provide which can be attached to collars.

My cat flap didn't suffer from this as once it closed behind my cat it locked immediately. If 2 of my cats (both chipped and registered on the cat flap) were chasing each other through the flap, the 2nd cat would often be locked in/out for a few seconds between the flap locking behind cat 1 as it then took a few seconds to register the 2nd cat.

It could also be set to 4 different locking methods.
Locked both ways, in only, out only, in and out. This was great for when the cats were out late at night. I could set the flap so they could come back in but couldn't leave again.

Mine does too.  It's a Petsafe Sureflap.   They do dog size too.
Never had a problem either as it immediately relocks after my cats go through.   Previously I'd had a dreadful time with "Manky B&W Tom" who would even hook a locked magnetic flap to be able to gain entry.   Its why I said it was one of the best £45 I've spent.   I wish I'd invested in one sooner as it works perfectly.

It protrudes externally slightly further than a normal cat flap, but that's only because of the tunnel which contains the chip reader.   
Quite often my cat will sit outside looking through the flap and I can hear it click and then click off again if she looks away.   It seems extremely responsive and I don't think another cat would be able to gain entry unless it was actually head to tail with one of mine.   
« Last Edit: September 12, 2018, 07:59:54 PM by kitz »
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kitz

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Re: Letting the dogs out
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2018, 07:16:00 PM »

It seems extremely responsive and I don't think another cat would be able to gain entry unless it was actually head to tail with one of mine.

Just tested it with one of my cats. The locking mechanism was back in place before he was even fully through.   ie as soon as his head had passed through the tunnel to the other side. 
It's only his body keeping the flap open whilst the rest of him goes through.   By the time he had all his body back inside, I don't see any no way another cat could follow after him.   The flap only remains open and unlocked whilst his head is in the tunnel near the reader.


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ETA

Bit hard to see for someone who is perhaps not familiar with them, but if you look closely @ 0:40 in this video you can see the flap is already back in the locked position by the time the cat is through. The locking mechanism is what looks like a grey button at the bottom of the door tunnel and this pops back up again by the time the head and front legs are through. Due to gravity, the door part will already be on its way down again by the time the cats back legs are through.

« Last Edit: September 12, 2018, 07:47:32 PM by kitz »
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