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RatPack : Wearable Technology for the African Giant Pouched Rat

The P.Black Oomvelt RatPack is a wearable technology created for the giant African pouched rat to help them communicate to their human handlers when they find a landmine or object of interest.Additionally, the RatPack was made to be of service in the training of the rats and their potential uses in scouting new areas.

The RatPack functions through the use of an accelerometer embedded in a vest that the animals wear. The accelerometer monitors the animal’s body motion. Changes in the animal’s body motion are monitored in real-time by an embedded machine learning processor that detects when the animal makes certain gestures it has previously been trained to make in response to detecting a scent or object. These gestures are communicated to a person in real time through a webpage. This process is conceptually similar to how a smartwatch can detect if a person is walking or jogging by the motion of the wrist.

The RatPack also has an onboard camera that lets a rat broadcast live video from its environment. The video functionality also greatly assists in the training of the machine learning algorithms that enable the rats to better communicate with people.

PurposeThe purpose of this tutorial is to share the design and creation of the RatPack (in both hardware and software) with the community so that whoever is interested in replicating or adapting the device can benefit from it. If you consider commercializing your adaptation please reach out to us for partnership or licensing details.

Project Repositories

- u.FL to SMA cable
- SMA 2.4GHz antenna
- OV2640 wide on a 75mm
- TinyML
- 18650 Li-ion Cell
- 1mm JST 2 pin connector
- XT30 connector pair
- 2x3 DuPont connector pair and pins
- Micro SD Card X2 (formatted in FAT32 or MS-DOS(FAT))

- Soldering Iron
- DuPont Crimping Tool
- 3D Printer
- Hot glue Gun
- Micro SD card Reader
- FTDI USB to Serial adaptor (for ESP32 programming)”

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