Did you know just looking at dogs and cats can make you happier? Really, it’s backed by science. These days, we could all use a little cheering up while we’re stuck at home. Practically though, no one can spend all day staring out the window looking for doggie pedestrians.
With this in mind, YouTuber “Ryder Calm Down” decided to put his technological capabilities to the test. He built a device that alerts him whenever a dog passes in front of his house. Through this ingenious method, he’ll always know when there’s a cute pup outside to look at and cheer him up.
How Does It Work?
Alright, I’ll be honest. I’m no technological genius, but I’ll do my best to summarize. Ryder started with a “Raspberry Pi,” a miniature computer, and a camera that points out the window towards the street. The camera’s live video stream is then fed into a machine learning model. The pre-trained model Ryder used can recognize about 80 different things, including dogs, cars, and people.
He then connected it to a notification system: a text-to-speech program that uses a megaphone. In an eerily loud and creepily inhuman voice, the machine announces: “Attention: there is a dog outside.” When Ryder goes to peek through his blinds, sure enough, a dog is walking by.
Creepy computer voice or not, for a prototype, it’s still pretty amazing. With this thing around, he’ll never miss out on a dog-related dopamine boost again. I know people fear AI, but if it’s capable of making something like this, I’m a little more inclined to embrace it.
For a more audio-visual explanation of how Ryder built this awesome thing, check out his YouTube video here.
A Dual-Purpose System
In addition to notifying Ryder when he can catch a glimpse of a dog, the machine does something else when he’s not home. It compliments passing dog walkers on their pups!
Once Ryder turned the megaphone facing out the window and programmed a message into it, the machine calls out “I like your dog” whenever it recognizes a pup walking by. Of course, he can’t actually see those dogs when the machine is used this way, but it’s probably true regardless.
This technology could likely be used for many other things, but I like its intended purpose. I’d certainly buy one of these if that were an option!