- we'd like to be able to "passively" collect data on monkey ranging patterns, travel paths, etc... there are commercial logging GPS collars, all of which are still fairly large... the limitations are weight and size... spider and woolly monkeys can probably carry up to about 300 grams comfortably... that would be less than 5% of body weight
- we'd like to "passively" collect data on activity, vertical versus horizontal motion, and travel speed. Accelerometers, gyrometers, and other motion sensors can help with this.
- remote health monitoring -- heart rate? body temp? respiration? body weight fluctuations?
- social radios... one of the things we're interested in is who hangs out with whom... this would be for various species of monkeys... how much time do animals spend "in proximity" or "in the same social party" I think we talked about how these might be useful for observers being able to "retrieve" data from the animals without having to dart and capture them a second time
- we'd be very interested in being able to set up some kind of passive system that can register when an animal is in a particular area... right now, we use motion sensing cameras to track animal visits to salt licks, but they have to trigger the camera... would there be some way to pick up when an animal is in particular area?
- remote identification -- for some species, it is very hard to tell individuals apart... we'd love to be able to tag the animals in some way that we can then "read" to see who they are... the old fashioned way is to tattoo them or put on a collar, but that requires binoculars and a good view... would there be anything that would work at a distance of 15-25 meters?
- acoustic recording ON THE ANIMAL - we're studying animal vocalizations, but obviously are unable to be right next to the animals when they call and are unable to record what they hear from close to their ears
- video recording ON THE ANIMAL - how do they perceive the environment/substrates they face... what are they looking at/looking for when they forage or chose where to move in the canopy... CRITTER CAMS ;-)
- nest hole monitoring... some species sleep in cavities in trees... it'd be nice to monitor when and how often they go in and out, how much time they spend in there, and esp. what they do inside... bird researchers use IR cams... it'd be interesting to adopt some of those for our purposes.
- data visualization - Given the existing data, what visualizations or models can be made that help answer some of the questions above, or reveal useful patterns not previously seen?
- Data management - is there a better way to manage the information workflow, even with the existing equipment? Are there minor equipment changes that could make data gathering work better? What's the best way to build an online repository so that researchers in the field and the office can easily share data on a daily basis?
- Lithium-Thionyl Chloride Batteries (Li-SOCl2) Note:Shorting and rapid discharge can lead to explosion.
-Eric Rosenthal recommends putting a resistor in series to act as a fuse and place desicates in the sealed case to combat humidity. -What is the humidity in the region?
- Pico-Hydro - Could be used to power WiFi or other electronics if research area is relatively close to the river.
- Off the shelf Low RPM DC generator
- Research into Pico-Power is ongoing. Preliminary testing on a "home-made" generator produced 5 microVolts at high RPMs. The design is being refined and further research is being done on low RPM generators so that stream flows and rainfall can be harnessed. DIY or purchased generators can be used to power field equipment such as camera traps and radio devices so that the maintenance can be reduced and "on-time" can be increased. These generators can harness water flow in local stream or rainfall that is collected in a container.
Some thoughts on useful things to build for the lab at Tiputini