Technology and WoofDriver – AirWOOF One, RUFFHour, 360 Panning Camera, IR Camera

I am always looking for ways to document and bring everybody the excitement and the experiences that we’re having with the dogs and the team in almost any way possible so I’m forever trying to expand the possibilities of the view. Because I know that at times a first person view from a photo or video can get monotonous, such as just watching a view as the dogs run ahead. That’s why I like to look for better ways to capture the moment and document all the beautiful scenery that we encounter and I want to be able to give all a full grasp of everything that we’re experiencing.

By doing this we’re hoping that people will get excited and inspired to learn about the stuff that’s all around them. I’m hoping that people will want to get out into nature and they will be able to see all the beauty that surrounds them every day, that can never be fully reflected from just a photograph or a video such as the random wildlife you may encounter as well as all the beautiful landscapes including flowers, trees and all of mother nature’s wonders.

AirWOOF One

That’s why I use different technology to bring this information to the public such as the AirWOOF One drone.  The drones major intention is to be a flying camera so that you can caught the excitement from many different angles. By putting the drone high in the air people can get an aerial view of what the dogs are doing, especially when we’re free ranging and they are running free.  When you’re looking at it from a ground level you can’t really get the full picture but if you’re looking at it from above and you can get a better idea of just exactly where the dogs are going. You can also see how well the dogs are trained and see that they’re not being too distracted by their surroundings.  So when looking at it from a higher perspective you’ll be able to catch all the action.

RUFFHour

Another way I try to bring the action to people is by using POV (point of view) cameras I call RUFFHour this way people can see exactly what we’re looking at and you get a full understanding of just exactly how I communicate with the dogs; for example, if I say a specific command you can see how the dogs react to that command.  Specifically, when we’re trying to avoid obstacles that we run into such as the other animals on the trail or farm equipment.

One specific word that comes in handy if the German word plotz, this command signals them to lay down and to stay down until it’s OK for them to get up (my release). This situation sometimes happens when there might be farm vehicles on the move when we are Free-Ranging; and in order for them to avoid it they need to lay down until it passes.

The RuffHour videos also give people the perspective of what it’s like to be with us during a ride. They can hear conversations between me and my WooFTeam.  They will also be able to catch the conversations that we have about the dogs or the trail ahead. Of course the conversations are not always work related, we like to have a little fun too. We might be talking about the football game from last night or joking with each other about whatever it going on. We also like to talk about things about specific obstacles that we faced on the trail like if Rhett had to get out and push the cart or we just encountered a big hill etc…

360 Panning Camera

Another tool that we use is the camera on a spinner, this way people can see everything that’s going on around us at all times.  Sometimes it’s easy to forget that cameras generally only give a view of what’s in front of you, but there still many other things that are going on all around you. There could be of river to your left and beautiful scenery to your right we want give people the full experience of was happening all around us.

We’ve also been using a true 360° Kodak camera it looks a little strange, somewhat like a GoPro but it has this huge lens on top of it that is taking a  360° shot at all times.  This camera is also optimized for Youtube which gives you kind of a virtual reality feel for where we are and what we’re doing.  You can actually drag the movie with your finger (on a touch screen) or (a mouse on a desktop computer) for instance you could see Rhett in the back of the cart and then drag the move to see the dogs run alongside, so you really get a full grasp of just what it would be like to be traveling along with us. The only problem we are having with this camera right now is that the technology of getting really high definition images is not available.  So the image looks a little choppy but as soon as the technology allows (very soon) we will be able to utilize this more often.

IR Camera

Another really cool technology that we use is the IR cameras, these are cameras with nighttime vision they use infrared light so that you can see ion the dark.  Infrared is generally how some animals see the world such as cats, and I believe dogs have some IR Vision as well.  This is the same technology that is utilized by the military, because it gives you the ability to see what the darkness usually covers up.

We also use NightVision Goggles if the situation warrants it. The only setback with these are  that the goggles our kind of heavy and you can’t really see what’s going on in your peripheral vision but they do give me the option to take the Dogs out almost any night and with the IR Cameras I can bring this dark of the night mysterious kind of excitement to to everybody!

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