WSU engineers develop improved tracking tool for animal clinic

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Wichita State University is collaborating with Spay Neuter Kansas City (SNKC) to research, evaluate and improve a technology used by the clinic to track animals.

SNKC, a nonprofit organization, attends to several animals on a daily basis using microchip implants to easily identify them, but the current technology is inefficient.

The microchip readers on the market merely display without the option to easily transfer data from one system to another.

Seeking a technical solution with the capability to print identification numbers as a barcode, Michelle Rivera, executive director of SNKC, consulted with Crissa Cook, a patent attorney who works with WSU Ventures. Familiar with Wichita State’s technical expertise and resources, Cook introduced Rivera to WSU Ventures.

“With the incredible amount of talent in the College of Engineering, we knew there would be someone in electrical engineering willing to tackle the problem,” said Becky Hundley, director of intellectual property for Wichita State.

WSU’s Abu Asaduzzaman, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, whose research interests include high-performance computing in health care technology, jumped right in.

Along with former student Chok Meng Yip, Asaduzzaman began looking into the technical challenges the project presented, primarily the use of dated technology in the microchip scanners.

The scanners in the market were designed in the 1980s and use an input/output port that’s not readily compatible with modern devices.

Asaduzzaman and Yip are developing a design that makes the current microchip scanners compatible with USB devices.

They are also developing an Android application that reads the tag number from the scanner and prompts the user to share the information directly to a database accessible to SNKC.

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