Introduction: LEGO MINDSTORMS Pet Feeder
This LEGO MINDSTORMS Pet Feeder is based on the Pavlovian theory of classical conditioning. Classical conditioning (also Pavlovian conditioning or respondent conditioning) is a kind of learning that occurs when a conditioned stimulus is paired with an unconditioned stimulus. To learn more about classical conditioning, please visit: Classical Conditioning - Wikipedia
It is made entirely out of LEGO bricks and uses 1 servo motor, 1 touch sensor and 1 EV3 intelligent brick. It is a great way to teach your dog a new trick. Soon your dog will know how to hit the button and receive food. It is also a nifty way to feed your pet. You can be sure that your pet will be fed the right amount every time because he/she will stop pressing the button when he/she is done! Watch the video, to see "Daxter" demonstrate this wonderful device!!!
You will also need a LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Kit as well as these parts.
Step 1: LEGO Assembly
Before starting, you will need to be sure you have the necessary pieces to build this. Refer to the "Lego Pet Feeder Parts List" PDF to be sure you have the necessary pieces. You will also need a LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Kit.
The "LEGO Pet Feeder Instructions" PDF provides the step-by-step building instructions for this LEGO creation. If you would like animated 3D instructions, you should download the "Lego Pet Feeder.lxf" file. This file can be opened with "LEGO Digital Designer", which is available free for download here. The LDD (LEGO Digital Designer) file provides 3D, animated building steps.
After you have made sure you have all of the necessary LEGO pieces, you may begin assembling the feeder as described in LDD file or the PDF. Then connect the motor to "Port A" and connect the touch sensor to "Port 1" using the cables included in the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Kit.
Step 2: EV3 Programming
To add the pet feeder program to your EV3 Intelligent Brick:
1. First, install the EV3 software first which is also available free for download here.
2. Download the "LEGO MINDSTORMS Pet Feeder.ev3" file from this step.
3. Plug in your EV3 Intelligent Brick to your computer.
4. Open the "LEGO MINDSTORMS Pet Feeder.ev3" file with the EV3 software.
5. Download the "LEGO MINDSTORMS Pet Feeder.ev3" to your EV3 Intelligent Brick.
Step 3: Training Your Pet
This method requires that your pet already knows the "paw" command (putting his/her paw in your hand when you say "paw"). Before proceeding make sure that your LEGO MINDSTORMS Pet Feeder is working properly and is filled with pet food. (To load the pet feeder, take the black cap off of the machine and fill with food). Below the cap are white walls that conceal the pet food, if you would like the feeder to hold more food, you can build the white walls up higher.
Training your pet:
1. Hold you hand next to the button while giving the paw command.
2. Make sure your pet is hitting the button and your hand.
3. Repeat as necessary slowly transitioning your pet's paw to the button instead of your hand.
4. After you have done this a few times, your pet should be aware that when he/she presses the button he/she will be rewarded with food (being dispensed from the pet feeder).