Niji is an all-in-one wearable device for pets and pet owners.

  • Lets owners track their pet’s health stats in real time.
  • Detects and warns about health irregularities as soon as they occur.
  • Stores historical biometric data to help vets diagnose conditions.
  • Tracks and recommends activities based on a pet’s weekly schedule.

Niji is a pet wearable device designed to assist pet owners in monitoring their pet's health, and to help in training and reinforcing daily routines.


pet ownership in Canadian households

C$6.6 billion
spent annually by Canadians on pet care

Design Overview

There are four subsystems that work together to power Niji.

The harness is worn by the pet and houses the wearable circuitry, which measures their health stats.

  • Powered by wearable Arduino modules.
  • Four biometric sensors: accelerometer, GPS, optical heart rate sensor and respiration sensor.
  • Communicates to the base station and the app through a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connection.

The base station is kept at home and communicates with the harness when it is nearby.

  • Raspberry Pi with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities.
  • Accepts raw sensor data from the harness and uploads parsed data to the server.

The server lives in the Google Cloud Platform, where it stores and processes sensor and pet activity data.

  • The platform's Google BigQuery service stores harness data in a non-relational manner.
  • k-means clustering algorithm regularly analyzes data for notable patterns to alert owner or recommend schedules.
  • Node.js server app exposes processed data to client devices.

The Android app is the main way pet owners can view their pet’s health stats and activities.

  • Downloads the latest data from the server to ensure owners get their pet’s health stats in real time.
  • Outdoor mode lets owners track biometrics directly from the harness while away from home and the base station.
  • Data from outdoor mode is synced with the server once the Android app is connected to Wi-Fi or mobile data.

About the Project

Niji was developed by Ryan Chu, Alan Qu, Yi Sui, Lloyd Torres and Quan Zhang as part of the Waterloo Engineering fourth year capstone design project. Ryan and Quan focused on the hardware and firmware aspects of the project, while Alan, Yi and Lloyd developed the various software components of Niji.

Niji was built over the course of two university terms (roughly around eight months), and presented to the public at the Waterloo ECE capstone symposium on March 21, 2018.

This project is dedicated to the memory of Niji and Shadow, two feline friends who accompanied our project consultant Sanjay Singh for many years. Our group chose to name the project after Niji as a reminder of what we strived to accomplish with this project.

Attribution notice: Icons designed by Becris, Freepik, Eucalyp, Gregor Cresnar, and Smashicons from Flaticon.