EAT NOW!!! Project using Arduino
One month ago I was at school with several partners and we had a subject related to electronics, so our final project for that subject was building a device using the Arduino open source platform. Due to that we built an automatic pet´s food distributor that is explained in the following steps. We did the project with cheap and recycled materials but if you want to build it with harder materials or in other way, BE FREE OF DOING IT WITHOUT PROBLEMS!!!
The project was build using an Arduino Due, LCD-Keyboard Shield for Arduino, Servo Motor of 1.5 kg/cm, an elbow made of PVC, several bottles of water, DC adapter, several toppers and lots of tape!!!
The project was designed in order for build it in an easy way and useful for the people that has a pet and doesn´t want to forget about feeding them.
- So, here it is – Eat Now!!! - constructed using an Arduino!
Step 1: Arduino´s Parts - LCD Shield ´n´ Servo
We started building our project programming the Arduino Due for having a clock, an alarm and when both had the same hour send a signal to the Servo motor opening the gate of the pet´s food.
There is not so much of doing in these part because you add the shield directly over the Arduino´s board, being careful of not blending any of the connectors and connecting appropriately the Servo motor to any of the free ports of the Arduino (in this case we used the pin 28).
There are several images above showing how we connected (we used Fritzing for the diagrams).
Step 2: Programming
The code as an extra advantage, this is the fact that you don´t need any external hardware for having the clock function. The only condition is that the Arduino is always connected to an energy supply source and it is easy for connecting to batteries if wanted because the Arduino Due functions with an input source between 12v and 7v.
- The code is attached below, you need the Arduino IDE 1.5.8 installed in your computer
- Check the official Arduino Due pages for more details:
Step 3: Building Up the Structure
Here starts the hard part. Building up all the structure.
- Plastic 20 L bottle of water
- Elbow of PVC of 2 inches
- Plastic Cookie container with a height of 10 inches and a diameter of 10 inches
- Black aerosol painting
- Sandwich´s topper
- Hot silicon
- Paint all the parts with the black aerosol.
- Cut the 20 L bottle of water from the bottom that later we will use as a cover.
- The cut the neck of the cookies container in order that the upper part of the bottle of water could enter.
- Measure and cut the cover of the sandwich´s topper in order that only the screen of the Arduino is shown.
*For making easier our job of cutting the plastic we used an electric soldering iron.
Step 4: Joining Everything
Now we start joining everything...
1. In the neck of the bottle of water, we add the PVC elbow joining it with hot silicon and several tape.
A CRITICAL PART OF THE PROJECT
2. Measure the height of the elbow, make a hole in the cookies´ container the same size of the diameter of the elbow, this hole has to be 1 or 2 inches above the bottom of the container. You have to adapt the water bottle and the container in order that the elbow has an inclination between 20° to 40° down. The PVC elbow have to have a part outside of the container (more or less 1 inch) so later we can add the servo motor.
3. Once we did this, secure them with several hot silicon and tape so it is hard as a rock.
Step 5: Final Details
- Beside the outer part of the PVC elbow, secure the servo motor beside it with hot silicon and tap.
- One of the plastic crosses we add and secure a plastic cover that it is bigger than the diameter of the PVC elbow.
- Add the previous step to the servo motor.
*When you buy the servo motor, it comes with kind of plastic crosses and a screw.
Step 6: Ready for Working
Connect the Servo motor to the Arduino Board and connect the Arduino Due to a DC adapter with an output between 12v and 7v. Be sure that everything is functioning correctly. Keep the Arduino Due with all its cables inside the topper, if any cable makes that the cover of the topper doesn´t close you can make small cuts with the electrical soldering iron.
FINALLY YOUR PROJECT IS READY FOR WORKING!!!
- Depending on the LCD-Keyboard that you bought the analog values for the buttons can change.
- Besides each line of the code is a description in order that when you want to customize anything (time of the opening of the servo, how much pet´s food you want, etc…) you can easily understand what each line of code is doing.
- The previous guide depending on the materials can change a little bit the procedure so if it doesn´t work properly try to use your imagination and change part of the project. If neither doesn´t work we will be pleased in helping you.