After nine months of hard work, Tekt Industries’ client Petminda have launched their first collection of pet minding pods at Barkly square shopping centre in Brunswick, Melbourne. Pods will be rolled out to further locations throughout 2021. 

Dog owners regularly face the problem of keeping pets safe when they go into a shopping centre. The ‘Petminda’, conceived by Blake and Sarah Horstman and engineered by Tekt Industries, takes care of this challenge. The Petminda system allows owners to conveniently check their dog into a secure, temperature controlled Petminda pod while they shop—all via their smartphone. 

Petminda engaged Tekt Industries to bring this entire concept to life. A multidisciplinary team including designers and engineers worked together to create the housing, electronic control systems, mobile app, and cloud dashboard.

Tekt staff built the electronics and assembled the first wave of pods at their manufacturing facility in Abbotsford. The whole project team was intimately involved in prototyping and testing the pods as they were constructed through multiple stages of development.

‘From the user’s point of view, the Petminda seems simple, but it’s a sophisticated connected system; this is not a typical IoT device but a fully integrated sensor and control based technology,’ said Tekt Industries founder and CEO Matthew Adams.

The Petminda contains sensors that collect information on temperature and motion, among other things. 

‘It is a live system that’s interacting with a user and a pet continuously, ensuring the welfare of the pooch while processing payments, monitoring pod vacancy, and managing the pod’s environment,’ said Adams.

The solution as a whole contains features that typically only occur in a very mature product. For example, the ability to remotely update the pod’s firmware and the integration of a third party application, Twilio, for sending SMS notifications to pod administrators.

‘The pod firmware is very complex, particularly for a first release; it’s set up to be robust and serviceable, reporting on faults such as power interruption to the pod—this was critical for a product running 24 hours, 7 days a week’, said Adams.

The project also involved advanced app and Cloud development using Flutter and Google Firebase and the integration of third party apps, including Stripe for payment processing. 

‘The app is brilliant, the functionality is amazing. It was a very challenging project, and it takes a special team to bring a world-class product like this to life,’  said Petminda co-founder Blake Horstman.

The pods have been specifically created to withstand Melbourne’s varied climate, featuring double layered thermal walls for adequate insulation. They also include unique features that set them apart from similar products overseas, one of which is that they send video snapshots to owners at regular intervals, via their phone, for peace of mind.

This project leveraged the full range of Tekt's capabilities to deliver a great commercial result in a compressed time frame.

'Within 24 hours of deployment, the pods were transacting,' said Adams.

Learn more about the Petminda project.

Embedded engineer Sahil Khanna and software developer Haoyuan Tang pictured with the pods at the Tekt Industries' headquarters in Abbotsford, Melbourne.

About Tekt Industries

Founded in 2009 by Matthew Adams, Tekt Industries is an award-winning product development and manufacturing house that creates sophisticated, connected devices across a broad range of consumer and industrial settings. 

Tekt has helped start-ups, multinationals, and ASX listed companies bring technically challenging, smart products to market at a global scale.