OpenCollar is a conservation collaboration to design, support
and deploy open-source tracking collar hardware and software
for environmental and wildlife monitoring projects.
We want the development of wildlife monitoring collars to enter the world of the cooperative, Internet-based community. By making the collars’ hardware and software and other information available online, we aim to attract and inspire talented students, researchers, and tech-savvy conservationists to develop tracking systems that are more customizable and a better fit for use on different animals.
Making existing technology available for anyone who wants it also means anyone can inexpensively build and adjust collars, with for example a GPS, GSM or LoRa module, for their own use cases. As the threshold for deploying collars disappears, we hope that wildlife experts will collar more animals, generate more data, create more actionable intelligence and share as much as possible to benefit the conservation of our natural world.
Finally, bringing an audience with a passion for technology and wildlife protection into the development of these technologies will reduce cost and increase innovation overall.
Where do we start?
Smart Parks has kickstarted and funded the design and development of the first OpenCollar Elephant tracker that consist of different modules that can be combined into several different configurations, depending on the use case. We’ll publish our development and lessons learned on opencollar.io, GitHub and a forum on Wildlabs. And that’s where you come in. Jointly we’ll adjust and improve OpenCollar and make the hardware and software accessible for everyone.
What’s happening right now?
The current development of the OpenCollar Elephant tracker consists of two milestones with the first one to determine the range of solutions, test them to determine the most suitable one, and implement and integrate all modules into the functional tracker prototype. Field testing of the prototype will follow the development. The tracker will then be optimized with all the required changes from the previous milestone and from the field testing integrated into the tracking system device.
Milestone 1 – Development of primary OpenCollar tracking system with positioning and LoRaWAN communication. This started in January 2019 and will be field tested at the end of March.
Milestone 2 – Implementation of required changes and integration into OpenCollar tracking system device
For the next steps we will reach out to the community to support OpenCollar on the following features and modules that can be added to the tracking system:
• Custom Collar
• Quick release add-on
• Solar charging
• Satellite communication
• 2G/3G/4G communication
• UHF/VHF connectivity
• External antenna
• Biosensor (heartbeat)
• Small-sized device development
We encourage anyone who is interested in the development of OpenCollar and who’d like to partner to touch base with us. As our planet is losing wildlife at an unprecedented rate passionate and determined conservationists around the world need to join arms, share information and protect as much as we can because;