Ralph Waldo Emerson once said "build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door." Perhaps that’s what motivated Tom to keep trying to catch Jerry using ever more elaborate Rube Goldberg-esq traps that ultimately failed. Few things can be said to be inspired by both Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Tom & Jerry cartoon, but the better mousetrap is one of them. With a smattering of technology and peanut butter, we can make that better mousetrap a reality.
With winter fast upon us, I’ve already been victim to the annual rodent indoor migration. I happened across one of them in the basement while looking for something. Scared the crap out of me. Instead of waiting for signs of mice, I thought it might be a good idea to set up a semi-permanent trap.
Just because we don’t like having Mrs. Frisby in our house doesn’t mean we have to use a death trap. I wanted to build a trap that doesn’t kill. Imagine a semi-permanent trap that’s set out in basement, garage, or attic. I don’t want to have to go to the basement or attic to check the trap everyday. And I don’t want the little critters to die of starvation while they’re detained. So I need the trap to notify me via email the moment a mouse is captured. Since the traps are also located in dark places, I also want an LED as an easy line-of-sight indicator.
Interesting thing about mice is that they’re territorial. If you have a couple of mice in close quarters with no where to go, things might deteriorate into a battle royale. Could get pretty nasty, and defeats the goal of a humane trap. The best solution for catching multiple mice is to have more than one trap, and make each trap only let in a single mouse.
With those things in mind, these are my design goals for making a real smart mousetrap.
1) Easy to build, escape proof, live and let live
2) Notifies me the moment a mouse is caught, via email and audible notification
3) Trap only lets in one mouse at a time
4) Simple LED indicator to tell you if there's a mouse in the trap
First the video demo, then the steps for the build.
See next step for parts list.