Animal Location Tracker


The Animal Location Tracker (ALT) provides measurements of the movement of our Subcutaneous Transmitters (SCTs), which in turn permit us to identify individual animals in video recordings. Our Video Blob Tracking (VBT) software applies blob-tracking analysis to the video to obtain the coordinates of each animal or animal-like object in the field of view. We calculate the correlation between the movement of each blob and the movement of each SCT. This correlation permits us to identify which SCT corresponds to which blob, provided the blobs are moving. If they are stationary, we use the pre-existing identification provided by the ALT, knowing that the association of SCTs and blobs will not change until the animals move and disappear or occulde one another.


Figure: Animal Location Tracker (A3038B). A 48 cm × 24 cm array of coils provides telemetry reception and animal location tracking. Two mouse toys and ruler show scale. White lights on left edge show reception from two data channels.

The ALT makes it possible to watch and identify co-habiting and socializing animals, while the implanted SCTs provide simultaneous EEG recording from the watched animals. Fully-automated analysis of animal activity and social interaction may now be performed along with fully-automated event detection in EEG, such as automated association of spike-waves with decision making or seizure spikes with convulsions.


Figure: ALT System with Four Faraday Enclosures (FE3A). A data acquisition computer (1) runs the Neurotracker software and records telemetry and position to disk. A power over ethernet switch (2) provides communication between eight ALTs and the computer, as well as providing power to the ALTs. Unshielded ethernet cables (4) connect the switch to a feedthrough (8) in the back wall of each Faraday enclosure (5). A shielded ethernet cable (3) completes the connection to the ALT (6) inside the enclosure. Each ALT will provide tracking for half a dozen animals with implanted SCTs (7).

Animal Location Tracker (A3038): An array of coils to detect power and signals from subcutaneous transmitters, allowing us to record biometric signals and measure the transmitter movements without the need for a separate data receiver. The A3038 requires only one cable connection for power and communication: 100 MBPS Power over Ethernet (PoE). It requires no external antennas.

Neurotracker: The component of the Neuroarchiver in our LWDAQ Software that displays ALT measurements.

Animal Cage Camera (A3034): A camera with variable white and infra-red illumination for recording video of animals in cages.

Videoarchiver Tool: Manual for the Videoarchiver, a LWDAQ Tool, which records video from an Animal Cage Camera in such a way that it may be played back synchronously with EEG and ALT recordings.

Videoarchiver Libraries: Archive of libraries for MacOS, Linux, and Windows necessary to run the Videoarchiver in LWDAQ. Download, decompress, and place the Videoarchiver folder in LWDAQ.app/Contents/ to make LWDAQ.app/Contents/Videoarchiver.

Video Blob Tracking (VBT): A description of how we analyze video frames to obtain the coordinates of animal-like objects. This link leads to our GitHub repository, where we keep the developing software files.

Feasibility Studies: Initial work showing feasibility of the animal location tracker using a pick-up coil and our radio-frequency spectrometer.

Platform Development: Design and testing of the original fifteen-coil array platform.

Animal Location Tracker (A3032): An array of coils to detect power from subcutaneous transmitters and so measure the movement of these transmitters.

Parts and Prices: A list of devices and their prices in various quantities.