Picture of How To Have A Talking Dog
Have you ever watched Pixar's Up and thought, I wish my dog had a collar that would let him talk to me?  Well I did, so I set out to make him one.

In this Instructable I'll show you all the parts you need, give you the Arduino sketch I used and walk you through building a dog collar that allows your best friend to voice his opinions to the world.

Here's a short video of my dog talking.  Normally we tell him, "Speak," and he'll bark until you tell him, "That's enough."  I think the camera spooked him because we had to ring the door bell to make him bark.

Step 1: Parts And Sketches

Picture of Parts And Sketches
The way the collar works is there is a small sound impact sensor on the inside that listens for your dog's bark as it comes from his throat.  That triggers the Arduino to read a potentiometer that tells it which type of voice to choose.  Then the last step is the Arduino chooses which phrase to say and plays it over a speaker in the collar.  To do that, we need a few  parts.

Main Collar Parts List
Arduino (I use a Duemilanove... $25-$35 depending on where you buy it.  The Uno is the latest and greatest, but I bought my Arduino a while back so it isn't the newest one http://www.spikenzielabs.com/Catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=12&products_id=40)
Adafruit Wave shield (I went with a Music and Sound Pack just to be sure I would get an SD card that worked properly and it came with a speaker)
Wave shield $22 (If you choose this option you will need to buy an 2GB max SD card and a small speaker that is still loud enough to work at normal room sound levels) http://www.adafruit.com/products/94&zenid=80d8423d846699d9ee654a2b86118553
Music and Sound Pack $35 http://www.adafruit.com/products/175&zenid=80d8423d846699d9ee654a2b86118553
Shield Stacking Headers (at least one set) $1.50 http://www.adafruit.com/products/85
Adafruit Proto shield $12.50 http://www.adafruit.com/products/51
1/4 size breadboard (for Proto shield) $4 http://www.adafruit.com/products/65
Sound Impact Sensor $7.99 http://www.parallax.com/Store/Sensors/PressureFlexRPM/tabid/177/CategoryID/52/List/0/SortField/0/Level/a/ProductID/614/Default.aspx
10-inch Extension Cable with 3-Pin Header $2.25 http://www.parallax.com/StoreSearchResults/tabid/768/List/0/SortField/4/ProductID/385/Default.aspx?txtSearch=3+wire
9v battery holder $4 http://www.adafruit.com/products/67
10K-Ohm linear potentiometer    A local electronics store should sell these for 3 or 4 bucks
Fancy "Control Knob" for potentiometer     These will usually come in a four pack and run about 3 dollars.  Pick whatever you think looks the best, but make sure it will fit the shaft size of the potentiometer you bought
1/2 a yard of Pleather $5.99 (I ended up using about half of it, but get extra in case you make a mistake.  Everything's 65% easier the second time around!)
Thrift Store belt with a large metal buckle $1 (Only want the buckle... mine is just under 3 inches wide)
Spool of Coats Upholstery Thread $2.20
Two pouch fasteners (I used self adhesive velcro squares, but if you're better with a sewing machine you might try buttons)

Misc Parts List
Hook-up wire
Rosin core Solder

Tools List
Soldering Iron
Sewing Machine

Assuming you have the tools but need to buy the collar specific materials, this project will cost you just over $100 USD.  Not too shabby to be the only owner of a talking dog on your block!

There is only one Sketch for this project so I will link in at the bottom of Step #4 (When the shields are assembled to the Arduino but before they are put inside the Talking Collar).
ktm88881 year ago
Do u make some for people
Schmidtn (author)  ktm88881 year ago
I do not make them for people, but all of the materials, code and step by step instructions are in the Instructable so I'd encourage you make one of your own. If you run into any troubles, leave another comment and I'll try to help you out the best I can.

this is just plain awesome! I'm gonna make on for my little bella

splazem4 years ago
I love this. You have to make him say things Dug would say, though!
yeah like squirrel:-)
ilpug splazem4 years ago
he looks like Dug too!
splazem ilpug4 years ago
Bellie141 year ago
Umm... What breed is ur dog? He/she is sooooo cute!!
Schmidtn (author)  Bellie141 year ago
Thank you, he is a German Shepard/Chow Chow mix. So soft and just wants to lay on the ground with you all day. :)
jinny112 years ago
How do u make one
You're new here, aren't you?
recalibrate2 years ago
Thats cool I just might try it on my dog, ha up
13, 8:51 PM.jpg
tschmidt3 years ago
This is a great start, very cool. The next logical step is to record your dog's various barks and analyze them for volume, average frequency, specific patterns of vocalization, etc. and then match them to recorded messages that actually mean what the dog intends them to mean. For example, if your dog has a different "excited" bark he uses when you come home, and a different bark that means "let me go out, I have to make potty!" then you could analyze his barks to play the appropriate message. What do you think? Possible? Not possible?
mikeasaurus4 years ago
Haha, awesome!
Nightfox17 says:
TheZombies3 years ago
hey its doug from up
Nightfox174 years ago

brittain1234 years ago
only thing that could make that better was if he wore lincons hat
Schmidtn (author)  brittain1234 years ago
If I was better as sewing he would have! He sleeps with a framed picture of Lincoln next to his bed.
MemoMemo4 years ago
Wise Raven4 years ago
Oh the possibilities....
nanosec124 years ago
This is truly phenomenal, I don't care that it doesn't translate it's still the coolest dog coller evah !!!
are the voice phrases preprogrammed or does the dog actually choose to say that?
Schmidtn (author)  friendship123964 years ago
It's just a toy. You put phrases onto an SD card into preset categories and it'll randomly pull a phrase from that category. It doesn't try to translate the dog directly. But as a toy it's pretty fun and the local kids really like it. All the kids on the block know Bear as "the talking doggy."
Biggsy4 years ago

This is BRILLIANT good work... :D

One of my coveted High fives for you

wolpert1014 years ago
Does this really work
Schmidtn (author)  wolpert1014 years ago
Yes it does. There's a short 7 second video on the intro of it working.
tinker2344 years ago
SHIFT!4 years ago
My name is Dug, I have just met you and I love you!