HotDog is an IBM Watson IoT application that reports overheating in cars to save the lives of children or pets in the car.


Users place the hardware, comprised of the Raspberry Pi and a temperature sensor, near their windshields in the car. HotDog will keep track of the temperature within their vehicle while they are running errands. If the measured temperature inside the car is about to reach dangerously high-levels and if it detects a pet or child in the car, the application will send a text message to the user, warning them that they are potentially putting their pet or child at risk of heat stroke. If the car becomes extremely hot, the app will also call Animal Control or 911 automatically as a final resort.

Created at TreeHacks 2017: Winner of Best Use of IBM Watson IoT Platform on Bluemix

Github: See the repository

Devpost: Read more about our project here


During sweltering summer days, cars can be become very hot very fast. Many people accidentally leave their dogs, or even young children and infants, in their vehicles while picking up groceries or shopping. Even though they expect to be gone for only 20 minutes or less, during this time, car temperatures can reach about 110 degrees within minutes. Around 40 children died of heat stroke in overheated cars in 2016, accumulating to hundred of child deaths since 1998. Thousands of pets die per year in these cars. We wanted to stop these tragic and preventable deaths through our hack.


Our backend platform runs on Node-RED, where we have the IoT device as the Raspberry Pi. The IoT device connects to many outlet nodes, such as twitter, twilio, and http to send live data to each outlet. On the hardware side, we have the Pi connected to a temperature sensor to send data to the server.


Our web application dashboard displays the live temperature updates from our Raspberry Pi, grabs data from a weather api to display heat patterns, and graphs the temperatures fetched through the Pi.


We incorporated text messages using Twilio API to warm car owners of danger as well. To mess around more with the Node RED backend framework, we also added in the ability for a Twitter account to report the danger as well.

Built With

  • IBM Watson API
  • Node RED Backend
  • Raspberry Pi
  • HTML/CSS/JavaScript
  • Twilio API


  • Teresa Liu
  • Raghav Maheshwari
  • John Romano
  • Eric Zelikman