TIIC 2016 North America: DynoCloud - Exotic Pet Habitat Monitoring and Control System


University: University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez
Team Members: Andres Blanco, Alejandro Gonzalez, Keysha Gonzalez, Osvaldo Santos, Gabriel Rivera, Christian Ayala

TI Parts Used:

  • CC3200 - LaunchPad
  • LMT86
  • TLC1078
  • TLC1079
  • MOC3032

Project Description

Exotic pets, such as reptiles and amphibians, are getting popular with each passing day. According to the 2015-2016 APPA National Pet Owners Survey over 9.3 million reptiles are owned by people in the US alone [1]. The care for these animals is a very delicate and time consuming activity as they need a controlled habitat to sustain life. A pet owner’s task is to monitor and control the habitat’s values of temperature and humidity as the enclosure’s ecosystem is key for the survival of the pet. Pet-store employees are rarely trained to tend to the complex needs of reptiles effectively and therefore are not in a position to educate prospective reptile caretakers [2]. The primary factor for the loss of life in exotic pets is incorrect habitat parameters. A survey of exotic animals imported into pet shops showed that within the first year an average of 26.5% died. Within 4 years 92% were dead. Pets die when owners were unable to provide the environmental conditions they needed to survive [3]. These animals, such as geckos, chameleons and frogs need a very particular environment without the slightest variance in temperature [4], a temperature gradient from 90 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit is appropriate for leopard geckos [5]. Reptiles can suffer respiratory diseases, fungal infections, rickets, and mouth-rot from incorrect humidity and insufficient light [6]. Humidity is a vital but often neglected factor when keeping reptiles in captivity. Diseases of the respiratory system, like pneumonia, often result from incorrect or insufficient humidity. Low humidity can also cause difficulties in skin sloughing and can result in the loss of extremities of limbs or tail, or may even be fatal [7].

 

The DynoCloud team will design an environmental control system with the means to control, monitor and automate an exotic pet’s enclosure. The system is based on a control system and power electronics interfaced to a wireless-enabled microcontroller. Each microcontroller for each pet enclosure is a node on an Internet-of-Things (IoT) system. DynoCloud will provide monitoring for each enclosure, control for the habitat based on user-set pet-profiles and an alert system. Each enclose device can be adjusted to serve different types of pets by the use of a pet-profile system that interacts with the controlinstrumentation. DynoCloud will provide owners with a set of predetermined pet-profiles for common pets that they can set as well as the means to create their own profiles. This pet-profile system has the required information to keep different pet habitat parameters under control for a healthy and safe life. The alert system will notify the owner in the case that the control system can no longer keep the habitat parameters under control, DynoCloud will alert the pet owner through the web page and the central-node console as well as through email messages. This alert system will also notify the pet owner in the case of a system failure such as a damaged peripheral. Users will be able to view real time habitat’s parameters and control the enclosure’s configuration from the internet as well as from a console on a central-node.

 

The cage node is in charge of reading the habitat’s parameters and controlling a set of peripherals that allow the system to stabilize the environment variables levels on the habitat to those adequate for an exotic pet, based on the current pet-profiles settings. Temperature and humidity are the parameters in observation and control by the use of humidifiers, ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) lamps. UV light are controlled based on a timer to simulate day and night.

 

The system is designed for Jorge Rentas, an owner and breeder of many exotic pets. His guidance was used to design the control and monitoring system as well as being the customer for the DynoCloud system. PetSmart was also interested in our IoT solution for exotic pet monitoring, control and alert system; PetSmart has many enclosures that need constant monitoring and currently they do not have a system that achieves those goals. Mr. Rentas suggested that DynoCloud could be useful for reptile and amphibian enclosures in Zoos.

 

DynoCloud solves the problems that affect the health and endanger the life of exotic animals as well as aiding the pet breeder in the monitoring of the system by providing the necessary sensors and peripherals interfaces to control the habitat enclosure. The DynoCloud IoT device is compact and modular; it contains instrumentation to control the peripherals used on an exotic pets’ habitat enclosure such as humidifier and IR/UV lights.  The control system is designed for enclosures up to 12 cubic feet as larger enclosures need additional peripherals to keep the habitats parameters in control and evenly distributed through the enclosure.

 

DynoCloud is a unique product on the market as it is the only system for exotic pet’s habitat enclosures that provides monitoring, control, alerts and profiles from the internet. Current market offerings such as EcoZone and iWatch only provide some of the features DynoCloud will offer. iWatch offers monitoring and alerts but no control of an habitat enclosure or pet-profiles. EcoZone is a wired solution that monitors and controls but does not offer sensors or profiles for pets. By being an IoT system, DynoCloud will be a modular way to control and monitor multiple pet habitat enclosures.  Offline support, by the use of a central-node, will keep the monitoring system working. The central-node offers a console to view live parameter readings. The IoT aspect of DynoCloud includes the habitat enclosures and central-nodes, all data will be relayed to the online web system; the central node can be accessed locally. The web system allows the entire system to be monitored remotely as well as change configuration parameters. The control and regulation system is autonomous and does not require network connectivity. DynoCloud is designed to be economical, and portable and modular; the control system allows a pet maintainer to install their own peripherals to control the system. 

Features
  • Temperature and Humidity Monitoring and Control
  • Temperature and Humidity Sensors
  • Real Time Monitoring through internet application
  • Profile system for specific pets
  • Ability to create custom Profiles
  • Modular and Portable Design

Resources

In the attached zip file you will find all design documentation along with our final report. 

User's Guide

Located in the zip file.