3 million dogs enter shelters nationwide each year. However, less than half are adopted into new homes. Some shelter dogs may receive human interaction 3 times a day for walks, but are then left by themselves.

PuppyTime changes that!

Talking and interacting with shelter dogs improves their wellbeing and makes them more adoptable. We wanted to provide a new way to benefit shelter dogs and bring joy to the humans that chat with them.

What it does

PuppyTime is a mobile website that enables folks to live video chat with shelter dogs and give them treats. This gives the dog more social time and builds a personal connection between the user and the dog to increase donations and adoption.

How we built it

We built the PuppyTime mobile website with a modified bootstrap template, javascript live video, and PayPal and PetFinder RESTful APIs. The “give a treat” button calls a RESTful service that runs a treat dispensing routine on the Arduino 101 with Grove Shield and stepper motor (written in C).

PuppyTime is running on Amazon Web Services - Route 53, CloudWatch, and S3.

Challenges we ran into

  • Software to work with Arduino hardware
  • Cable shorts when connecting Arduino components
  • Learning new languages/tools

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Our product works! (tested with a real shelter dog at Houndhaven in Florida)
  • Working well and building each other up as a team
  • An inclusive and informative experience for our 3 first time hackathon participants

What we learned

  • How to use an Arduino 101 board
  • New languages and tools: HTML/CSS, jQuery, new APIs
  • Collaborative and fun ideation techniques

What's next for PuppyTime

  • Hook website button to Arduino board to dispense treats
  • Match users with a dog at a shelter near their location so they can choose to adopt them or donate to the local shelter
  • Design fun video filters as a paid feature to benefit local shelters
  • Incorporate Amazon Marketplace to send donations like dog food, treats, toys, etc.
  • Allow users to save their favorite furry friends and chat with them again

Live Demo Note

  • Please run as mobile in dev tools
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