I finally got to meet with Professor Hollingsworth. He gave me insight on what the best microcontrollers to use for this project were. In the end, we decided to go with the Particle Electron, one of the new microcontrollers that Particle has released that can connect to 3G data as opposed to relying on WiFi and Bluetooth. This was decided because we won't always be able to rely on WiFi. For example, if your dog runs away into the woods, the microcontroller would disconnect from WiFi. The Electron was the perfect fit though because it still has complete Bluetooth functionality, is a very compact size, will connect to all the extra sensors that we want, and will not lose signal when you are a long hike with your dog.
The Electron connects to T-Mobile and AT&T data and, as a result, requires a data package at $3 a month for 1 megabyte of data. Luckily, the first 3 months are free so that is plenty of time to get this project up and running.
One bummer about the Electron was that, with the Asset Tracker kit - a GPS locator kit - the price came out to around $150 with shipping, which is half of our whole budget. After much talk though, it was decided that this would be the biggest piece of the project so not cutting corners on this device is important. We want full functionality when we present it.
We also ordered a temperature sensor and a speaker for the microcontroller and hope to receive everything in the next couple of days. Then, we can start building. I mentioned these extra sensors to Professor Hollingsworth and he mentioned that a better way than relaying a dog's exact temperature is to give an range like "Your dog is cold!", "Your dog is comfortable", and "Your dog is hot!", which allows room for error in readings. We liked this idea and will definitely be implementing it this way rather than a number now.
More updates will be coming very soon! Thanks for reading.