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Archive for the ‘Pet Feeder’ Category

Part of the joy of owning a dog is feeding it. How often do you get to make another living being that happy? However, sometimes you can’t be there when your best friend is hungry. [El Taller De TD] built an auto dog feeder using an Arduino and stepper motor. The video and links are in Spanish, but if your Spanish is rusty, YouTube’s caption autotranslation isn’t bad and Google Translate can help you with the web site.

The electronics are reasonably simple: an Arduino, a Bluetooth module, and a stepper motor driver. Mechanically, the motor and some PVC pipe are all you need. There’s a small phone application to drive the Bluetooth using App Inventor.

This would be a pretty straightforward first project and — of course — could be useful for any kind of animal. For dog use, we might have hardened the external wires and circuit boards a bit though. In addition there are plenty of things you could do in software, for example you could feed every 8 hours. It seems like you could add a sensor to tell when you are out of food, or perhaps if the food was not feeding for some reason.

We’ve looked at using App Inventor with Bluetooth before and it is pretty easy. We might have been tempted to go with Blynk to have more options for communication, but either way is pretty easy.

[NathanKing] has a cute, rambunctious pupper who eats way too fast for her own good. He’s tried various distribution methods intended to get her to slow down, but she’s just too excited to eat. [Nathan]’s latest solution is to launch the food piece by piece using a catapult. The dog loves the gamified feeding method, which is sort of like one-way fetch. She gets a bit of exercise, and everyone is amused for the half hour it takes to fling 1.5 cups of food one piece at a time.

Electronics-wise, this food flinger doesn’t use much more than three servos and an Arduino Uno. Servo #1 pulls the arm back until it hits a limit switch. Servo #2 holds the arm down , and servo #3 rotates the food tube until it drops a unit of kibble into the spoon. Then servo #2 lets the arm go, and the tasty morsel flies about 30 feet (10 meters).

[Nathan] doesn’t offer step-by-step instructions, but there is more than enough detail to replicate this project. He used what he had on hand, such as scrap aluminium from another project for the frame. Future plans include swapping out the 6V lantern battery for rechargeable AAs, and downsizing to a Nano. We’ve fetched a couple of videos for you and thrown them in after the break. Go get ’em, reader!

Pets need plenty of water, especially during the summer. Here’s a no-sweat automatic watering solution we saw a few years ago.

Although automated pet feeders seem to be a dime a dozen these days, Benjamin Millam’s project is on a whole ‘nother level. Last year, the Maker created a system that caters to the primal instincts of his indoor cat, Monkey, by training him to look for plastic balls hidden around the house and then drop them into the machine. Once the apparatus recognizes the RFID-tagged balls, food gets dispensed into the bowl.

The system is comprised of a modified Super Feeder, an Adafruit RFID reader, a remote antenna, a few relays and an Arduino Uno. Millam writes that he conceived the idea after learning why cats repeatedly scour the same area.

What if my cat, while out on patrol, actually found its prey? Surely this would bring him one step closer towards a more fulfilled and self-actualized indoor kitty existence. I imagined hiding little bowls of food around the house… then I imagined me actually refilling these bowls. Then I imagined having to move them around to different hiding spots, spilling, forgetting, and every so often, perhaps only after following a trail of ants, finding one undiscovered and rancid. Hmmm, maybe there’s a way to hide something else, a way to hide something other than food, a way to make something not-food = food…

Throughout the day, the feline seeks out a series of embedded balls and plops them into a blue bowl on top of the makeshift device. From there, gravity takes over. As the ball makes its way down the shoot, the RFID tag is scanned and and the program is initiated. The Arduino switches on the relay that closes the feeder’s power circuit, and voila!

The Maker does note, however, that a little training is needed in order for this method work. While we’ll have to wait and see if this becomes an actual product, you can watch Monkey go after some Wiffle Balls right meow!

Although automated pet feeders seem to be a dime a dozen these days, Benjamin Millam’s project is on a whole ‘nother level. Last year, the Maker created a system that caters to the primal instincts of his indoor cat, Monkey, by training him to look for plastic balls hidden around the house and then drop them into the machine. Once the apparatus recognizes the RFID-tagged balls, food gets dispensed into the bowl.

The system is comprised of a modified Super Feeder, an Adafruit RFID reader, a remote antenna, a few relays and an Arduino Uno. Millam writes that he conceived the idea after learning why cats repeatedly scour the same area.

What if my cat, while out on patrol, actually found its prey? Surely this would bring him one step closer towards a more fulfilled and self-actualized indoor kitty existence. I imagined hiding little bowls of food around the house… then I imagined me actually refilling these bowls. Then I imagined having to move them around to different hiding spots, spilling, forgetting, and every so often, perhaps only after following a trail of ants, finding one undiscovered and rancid. Hmmm, maybe there’s a way to hide something else, a way to hide something other than food, a way to make something not-food = food…

Throughout the day, the feline seeks out a series of embedded balls and plops them into a blue bowl on top of the makeshift device. From there, gravity takes over. As the ball makes its way down the shoot, the RFID tag is scanned and and the program is initiated. The Arduino switches on the relay that closes the feeder’s power circuit, and voila!

The Maker does note, however, that a little training is needed in order for this method work. While we’ll have to wait and see if this becomes an actual product, you can watch Monkey go after some Wiffle Balls right meow!

Although automated pet feeders seem to be a dime a dozen these days, Benjamin Millam’s project is on a whole ‘nother level. Last year, the Maker created a system that caters to the primal instincts of his indoor cat, Monkey, by training him to look for plastic balls hidden around the house and then drop them into the machine. Once the apparatus recognizes the RFID-tagged balls, food gets dispensed into the bowl.

The system is comprised of a modified Super Feeder, an Adafruit RFID reader, a remote antenna, a few relays and an Arduino Uno. Millam writes that he conceived the idea after learning why cats repeatedly scour the same area.

What if my cat, while out on patrol, actually found its prey? Surely this would bring him one step closer towards a more fulfilled and self-actualized indoor kitty existence. I imagined hiding little bowls of food around the house… then I imagined me actually refilling these bowls. Then I imagined having to move them around to different hiding spots, spilling, forgetting, and every so often, perhaps only after following a trail of ants, finding one undiscovered and rancid. Hmmm, maybe there’s a way to hide something else, a way to hide something other than food, a way to make something not-food = food…

Throughout the day, the feline seeks out a series of embedded balls and plops them into a blue bowl on top of the makeshift device. From there, gravity takes over. As the ball makes its way down the shoot, the RFID tag is scanned and and the program is initiated. The Arduino switches on the relay that closes the feeder’s power circuit, and voila!

The Maker does note, however, that a little training is needed in order for this method work. While we’ll have to wait and see if this becomes an actual product, you can watch Monkey go after some Wiffle Balls right meow!



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