wayne piekarski GoPro Dog Backpack

 
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I recently purchased a GoPro camera and thought it would be good fun to make my own custom harness to mount the camera on my dogs.

One of my dogs Mila is 55 lbs, and the other Dylan is 85 lbs. The pictures make them look the same size, but one dog is almost twice the size of the other!


The design of my backpack is pretty robust. To get started, the trick is to use the lid that came with your GoPro box. This lid is perfect because it is a large plastic square with the mount moulded into it, and you can drill holes it in and attach it to whatever you want. I'm not a big fan of the adhesive mounts, I'm always worried they will come unstuck some how with all the forces applied to it.

For the dog harness, I found some dog backpacks in a pet store, anything will do as the fabric is thin enough. I found that the Kyjen Outward Hound Excursion Dog Backpack was the perfect size and had everything in the right place, so I use this. Mila used the L size, and Dylan was the XL size.

I then used a tool to punch a hole in the fabric and put metal grommets there to protect it and give it strength. You then drill four holes in the plastic, and use some small bolts to connect them all up. I put some felt padding on the inside to cover over the bolts to make sure the dog would not be scratched by the metal rubbing against their fur.

For the second large dog harness for Dylan, I didn't have another GoPro container lid, so I had to make a new one. As mentioned earlier, I don't trust adhesive, so I purchased the head mount kit and chopped off the straps. Then I used little tiny bolts to attach it to a piece of clear plastic. Then attached the plastic to the harness with similar bolts as the previous one. For some reason, the XL harness has a huge hold in it for a handle (that I cut off), so having the larger plastic base helped me to mount it better around the hole. So the finished product didn't look as good, but it still worked pretty well without having a second lid.

It turns out that with the harness as is, the camera swings around wildly and will eventually rotate around because the center of gravity is so high. The big trick with this whole thing is to put water bottles into the harness pockets. The water bottles are not too heavy, and my dogs don't even notice it. This keeps the backpack balanced and the pictures are a lot more stable.

When the dog is running quickly, it turns out their body shakes all over the place and so the camera will shake around a lot. I found that putting the camera in wide screen mode is the only way to get a reasonably stable image. If you run with a narrow field of view the image shakes so much it is unwatchable.

So that's it ... once you have the tools it is pretty easy to assemble one of these things. Hopefully you kept your GoPro lid. It is a shame you can't buy more of the lids from the GoPro box because they are perfect and require no extra work.


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Developer Advocate for Android and IoT


Mila the pit bull


Dylan with custom GoPro backpack


Outdoor augmented reality research
Tinmith 1998-2006


Outdoor augmented reality gaming
ARQuake 1999-2006


Scanned physical objects outdoors
Hand of God 3D 2006


Developer Advocate for Android and IoT


Mila the pit bull


Dylan with custom GoPro backpack


Outdoor augmented reality research
Tinmith 1998-2006


Outdoor augmented reality gaming
ARQuake 1999-2006


Scanned physical objects outdoors
Hand of God 3D 2006


Contact Wayne Piekarski via email wayne AT tinmith.net for more information

Last Updated 2017