Security engineer Gene Bransfield has developed WarKitten, a WiFi collar that scans WiFi networks in the neighborhood. The innocuous-looking accessory hides Spark Arduinoopen source hardware. It maps wireless networks and their vulnerabilities wherever the pet wanders.
WarKitten was developed for fun and was discussed in a panel at the Defcon hacking conference.
During the Cold War, the Acoustic Kitty went under the surgeon’s knife to accommodate transmitting and control devices so it could listen to secret conversations in Moscow. The first cat mission was eavesdropping on two men in a park outside the Soviet compound on Wisconsin Avenue in Washington, D.C.. The cat was released nearby, but was hit and killed by a taxi almost immediately.
A bravery medal was awarded to a pigeon which flew vital intelligence out of occupied France in World War II.
For the BBC Horizon programme “The Secret Life of the Cat”, the Wildlife Tracking Collars developed by the Royal Veterinarian College were downsized to fit on domestic cats.
About 50 tracking collars were fitted to house cats in the UK, incorporating the GPS receiver, accelerometers, gyroscopes, CPU, and much of the associated software. The college had already developed software functionality for larger animals and was retained, in particular the ability to change the collar’s operation and power consumption based on the cat’s behaviour, to conserve battery life.
The BBC published maps showing the tracks of ten of the cats over 24 hours. Each of the maps is accompanied by a small film clip of the particular tracked cat in action and a summary about how far each cat roams from its home and the size of its roaming area.
Some of the domestic cat collars also carried a miniature high-definition video camera, which provided excellent video quality but only very limited recording time due to their limited battery life. The collars were programmed to only turn the camera on when the accelerometers indicated that the cat was active and the GPS receiver indicated that the cat was outdoors.
The National Geographic & University of Georgia teamed up on a Kitty Cam Project which reviewed 2,000 hours of video collected from 55 Cat Cams.