ANIMAL CAMERA COLLAR
By Hannaan Bhatti
We were approached by the BBC, with a need to further develop an Animal Camera Collar.
Working with Duncan Parker, a wildlife cameraman who is working on a new wildlife features series, due to be release in June 2017. One of the programs he was involved in was Planet Earth II. This David Attenborough lead TV series recently aired on the BBC, receiving many great reviews.
Animal Camera Collar consist of:
- A Comfortable Leather Strap.
- A Camera Housing – two sections (top and bottom).
- An in-built GPS Tracking Device.
- Drop-off Mechanism.
- Portable Camera.
The top section of the camera housing is permanently fixed to the leather collar. The bottom section is temporarily fixed to the top section by means of:
- A temporary attachment on one side.
- A leather strap on the opposite side, forming the basis of the drop off mechanism and temporarily holds the top and bottom sections together.
Advantage with Animal Camera Collar:
- Do not need a cameraman on constant watch.
- Due to in-built GPS, once the camera housing drops, it can be located and retrieved.
- Minimises the need of tranquillising the animal and presents other complexities of recapturing the animal.
Drop – Off Mechanism:
The drop off mechanism consists of:
- A bottle of chemical, which erodes the leather strap gradually.
- A leather strap.
In the duration of a couple of months, this chemical will slowly erode the leather strap and then eventually, the strap will rip leading to bottom section dropping off.
However, how do we temporarily hold the opposite end of the camera housing together without involving a complicated and costly attachment mechanism?
The concept that we put in place is a swing off hinge. Once the top and bottom housing are parallel with each other, the hinge holds the two sections. However, once the leather strap rips and the top and bottom housing are not parallel, the bottom housing will swing off. With the process of CAD development, we were able to simulate this rotational process and see whether it will work. Furthermore, this gave us a better visual idea as to where we needed to add the necessary tolerance needed within this hinge.
We look forward to developing this further whilst working alongside the BBC. Until then, we will hold tight until it is tested on the new show.