discussion / Sensors  / 7 May 2019

OpenCollar Update 2


OpenCollar is on fire! And by saying that we mean we’re steaming towards putting the first open-source modular elephant tracking collar into the wild to protect these magnificent animals.

In our last update (OpenCollar Update 1) we introduced our plans and first milestones. Now we can show you the first results and update you on the next steps.

All the electronics are designed, produced and assembled, the enclosure is milled, the (very hard to find) collar material has been selected and attached, and finally, the first version of the firmware has been installed on the device.


One of the main challenges is to get everything synchronized with the Arribada Horizon platform, that is also being updated almost every day. Working together on both sides will improve the Horizon platform and the OpenCollar Initiative now and in the future.

Collar material

Another challenge has been the selection and sourcing of the actual belting material so that it is not a simple strap to hold the sensor in place, but a high quality and functional part of the whole system. We are getting there!

First tests

With the first payload assembled into its enclosure, we took the tracker for a test drive for network connectivity and location updates. The tracker position updates are successfully received by the Smart Parks LoRaWAN network. All parts of the system are now operational and now it comes down to fine-tuning the software components and other parameters. With Semtech bringing its Basic Mac stack to the open-source community this week some of the developments will definitely speed up.

Next steps

We are waiting until the first Lacuna Space LoRaWAN gateway is activated, so we can send our first message to space from the integrated LoRaWAN to space antenna inside the collar. The satellite has been successfully launched from India on the first of April and is now orbiting the Earth waiting to be activated by the operators after some serious testing.

But first, we will test the first complete OpenCollar prototype in one of the Smart Parks networks in Rwanda in 2 weeks from now.

If you would like more information or if you want to partner up just drop us a line on Wildlabs or mail us [email protected]


Cool stuff Laurens! I'm closely following the open collar developments which triggers some ideas on what we could do for the river dolphins. Look forward to connect shortly! Cheers

I'm an engineer and product designer working on wildlife conservation technology.
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Hi. I've been following the opencollar initiative and was wondering what the current status is. The project looks amazing!