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Lehigh University logo
Lehigh University logo

Michael Berger and Ross Kaplan

"Wireless Electric Dog Leash"

Department: Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Professor Michael Spear

There are approximately 78.2 million dogs owned by people in the United States and nearly thirty-nine percent of households in the United States own at least one dog. With statistics like this, it is apparent that there is a huge market associated with dogs and their owners. Owners consistently purchase products that maximize the enjoyment of ownership and minimize the occasional inconveniences. Automatic feeders, dog doors, electric fences, and bark collars are a few of many significant products that have infiltrated the dog market and have played on the idea of owner convenience. Ross Kaplan and Michael Berger’s goal is to introduce the “Wireless Electric Dog Leash” into this market and stress the advantages of added convenience and interaction. The “Wireless Electric Dog Leash” estimates the distance between the transmitter on the human and the receiver on the dog and then notifies the receiver whether it is inside or outside the user defined radius. If the dog is outside of this radius, the receiver will initialize a shocking circuit. The distance estimation aspect of this project was the area of research. By transforming a Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) representation of the Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) into a dB value and using a link budget equation, Ross and Michael have obtained accurate thresholds between distances. Their goal is to continue their research by implementing a time series algorithm and use previous signal strength measurements to estimate the distance between modules.

About Michael and Ross:
Michael Berger, from Lehighton, Pennsylvania, is a senior electrical engineering major graduating in May of 2013. Alongside Ross Kaplan, he has been working under the supervision of Michael Spear and Ted Bowen on the “Wireless Electric Dog Leash” project for the past six months. He and Ross Kaplan agreed upon the idea this summer while interning at Intel where they received invaluable knowledge regarding baseband processors, testing procedures, and the fundamentals of wireless technology. Outside of the classroom, Michael is a member of Delta Phi fraternity and the secretary of the Lehigh Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers organization. Michael is currently interning at Intel as a Field Test Intern in Allentown and is planning to pursue a career in either the wireless communications or embedded systems industry upon graduation.

Ross Kaplan is a senior at Lehigh University pursuing a B.S. in Computer Engineering. Ross grew up in Rhode Island and will be soon moving to Baltimore where he will begin his career with Northrop Grumman as an Electronics Engineer. This past summer, Ross interned at Intel Mobile Communications with his partner, Michael Berger, where they developed their idea for the "Wireless Electric Dog Leash". In the near future, Ross hopes to continue is education with a graduate degree however his area of interest is undecided. Outside of the classroom Ross is a brother of Delta Phi Fraternity where he has held positions such as House Manager and Treasurer, and he also enjoys exercise and outdoor activities like kayaking.