Introduction: Smart Cat Feeder

If you're tired of your cat screaming at you every morning you can build a cat feeder for it.

We'll need

  1. 2 cans
  2. Vitamins bottle
  3. MG996 servo motor
  4. Zip ties
  5. Thick wire
  6. Double bowl
  7. Piece of styrofoam
  8. Electric tape
  9. Arduino or similar microcontroller/microcomputer with PWM support
  10. Something to cut tin with (knife/scissors/dremel)

Step 1: Cut Holes in the Cans

Picture of Cut Holes in the Cans

WARNING: Wear eye protection for all the dremel work

  1. Mark holes with a whiteboard marker
  2. Cut holes with a dremel, kitchen knife or tin snips, anything works
  3. Drill pivot holes to match servo adapter and a servo sizes

Step 2: Decorate Cans [optional]

Picture of Decorate Cans [optional]

I used some colored vinyl and electric tape but I should have better used a can of a spray paint, much easier to apply evenly.

Step 3: Fixate Servo Adapter

Picture of Fixate Servo Adapter
  1. Make 3 holes matching a servo adapter
  2. Fixate it well with a thick steel wire.
  3. Remove all the sticking out parts

Step 4: Fixate a Servo

Picture of Fixate a Servo

  1. Make 4 holes for zip ties
  2. Fixate the servo with the zip ties
  3. Fixate the top part on the bottom one with the screw that came with the servo

Step 5: Make a Funnel

Picture of Make a Funnel

  1. Cut a smile in the bottom matching the dispense hole
  2. Cut a funnel from a vitamins bottle
  3. You can fixate it with a hot glue from the inside to make sure that the cat food cannot get into the bottom can.

Step 6: Attach to the Bowl

Picture of Attach to the Bowl

  1. Cut the piece of foam to match the bowl
  2. Tape the bottom can lid onto the piece of foam. It will help a lot with serviceability of the servo if any problems occur (I had to do that only once for the last 2 years)
  3. Assemble all the parts

Step 7: Connect to an Arduino or Raspberry Pi

Picture of Connect to an Arduino or Raspberry Pi
  1. Make a wire hole in the bottom can. I should have better made a hole in the lid and a foam to make a wire less noticeable.
  2. Connect red wire to 5V pin hole of your arduino or a microcomputer. I used Beaglebone Black for this build but Arduino uno clone for the previous one. Arduino or another microcontroller board can be even better because it doesn't have an OS to make additional delays (250ms vs 260ms could make a lot of difference in the amount of food dispensed)
  3. Connect brown wire to GND pin hole
  4. Connect orange wire to a PWM output (i.e. 9 or 10 pin)
  5. You can put the arduino into the bottom can but in my case I used an external box because I have a lot of stuff connected to it and you can play with it through the stream on YouTube
  6. Upload the code

Circuit: https://circuits.io/circuits/2707080

Example arduino code: https://gist.github.com/ulitiy/5c319f65c419dfa1af7...

Step 8: Fill Up and Enjoy

Picture of Fill Up and Enjoy

Put some food or treats inside and enjoy your cat using it's own smart device!

Subscribe to my YouTube channel to see more of my builds!

Thanks for reading, watching and building with me!

Comments

NathanR124 (author)2017-12-26

lol, star wars theme song

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Bio: Software engineer and youtuber
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