There are too many pets being killed in shelters, and there are 10 million lost dogs every year in the United States alone. We tried to address the root cause and reduce the number of pets coming into shelters by reconnecting lost animals with their owners.
What it does
Owners who have lost a pet can enter our website and enter their name, phone number, and area in which they want to scan for their pet. We then take public webcams located around Boston and analyze the images in search of the pet. If a potential match is found, we'll send the owner a text message with a picture of the match. The user can subscribe and unsubscribe to the service depending on whether the match was actually their pet or not.
How we built it
We built this application with the help of OpenCV and Twilio.
Challenges we ran into
Not being able to determine whether a dog was a stray dog or simply on a leash with their owner. To solve this problem, we came up with the idea of also detecting people, and determining the distance between the pet and the nearest human. This still wasn't perfect, so we came up with detecting direction of the animal as well, as we found that domesticated animals move almost exclusively in the same direction in which people are moving, whereas the movement of stray animals is more erratic and non unidirectional.