Introduction: Arduino Project: Cat Food Dispenser

This instructable was created in fulfillment of the project requirement of the Makecourse at the University of South Florida (

Step 1: Get Project Materials

For this project you should get the following materials ahead:

Electronic Components:

  • 1 Arduino Uno
  • 3 servo motors
  • 1 Ultrasonic Sensor
  • 9v@3A Power Supply
  • 2 Push-up buttons
  • Breadboard

Estimated prices:

  • Arduino Uno: $23.38 x Qty: 1
  • Servo - Generic Continuous Rotation (Micro Size) $11.95 x Qty: 3
  • Wall Adapter Power Supply - 9VDC 2A $15.77 x Qty: 1
  • HC-SR04 $3.95 x Qty: 1
  • Voltage Regulator 5v $0.5 x Qty: 1
  • Capacitor Ceramic 100nF $0.64 x Qty: 1
  • Electrolytic Capacitor - 1uF/50V $0.28 x Qty: 1
  • Mini Pushbutton Switch $0.1 x Qty: 2
  • 10K Ohm Resistor $0.1 x Qty: 2
  • USB Cable A to B $3.26 x Qty: 1
  • BreadBoard $8.25 x Qty: 1
  • HeatSink TO-220 $0.41 x Qty: 1
  • Jumper Wires Pack - M/M $1.95 x Qty: 2

Layout Materials:

  • 3 3x1.5 ft wood thin board
  • Wood glue
  • Nails
  • 3D Printer

Step 2: Set Up the Basic Circuit for Test

For this first Step, follow the image-schematic.

  • For Servo use the 1, 2 and 3rd Arduino Pins.
  • Set the buttons outputs to Arduino pins 12 and 13.
  • And finally set the echo pin of the Ultrasonic sensor to the 8th pin of the Arduino and the Trigger pin of the sensor to the 9th Arduino Pin.

Make sure to connect the all 5 volts and grounds from all the components to their corresponding line of the breadboard. All 5v pins from the components should be on the same line (as on the picture).

Step 3: Add the Cat Food Dispenser Code to Your Arduino and Compile It

Attached you will find the Arduino Algorithm behind the logic of the Cat Food Dispenser.

The Arduino code is fully commented.

  • The logic behind it:

This Arduino algorithm aims to model a cat food dispenser using an Ultrasonic Sensor to sense the presence of a cat within a range of 10cm. Ones the cat is neer, the system will activate two motors. The first servo will open the food tube dispenser and will fill the can with food, then the second motor will move the food can towards the cat. Also two pushbuttons will control a servo in order to open and close the food storage cap.

After copying the Arduino code, compile.

Step 4: Making the Cat Food Dispenser Layout

This project counts with parts in order to make a fully functional Cat Food Dispenser. In order to make that possible 8 3D models were made and printed:

  • Food Can Base:

Is the base where the food can is placed, and at the same time it will be sliced on.

(This can be observed in the middle image)

  • Left Wall with road rails:

Wall placed to the left of the container which counts with a rail path on the top side. On this rail, the cap is placed in order to establish a path of movement.

  • Right Wall with road rail:

Wall placed to the right of the container which counts with a rail path on the top side. On this rail, the cap is placed in order to establish a path of movement.

  • Food Can:

The container where the cat food will be displayed when the ultrasonic sense the cat's presence.

(Observed in the middle image of the picture).

  • Torque hand:

Is a hand place on top of the motor, which will pull and push the food can when desire.

(Observed on the middle image of the picture, on top of the black motor).

  • Dispenser Tube:

Is the tube from where the food will come out when the cat is near.

(Lef image on the picture).

  • Dispenser Tube Cap:

Is the cap of the tube, attach to the servo that will be moving to displace the food into the can.

(Observed in the left image of the picture attached to the servo)

  • Food Container Cap:

Is the cap which is opened to places food into the container.


Please see attach videos to have better view of this 3D models.

Step 5: Now Lets See How Everything Works!!!!

Check this video to see how everything works!!

Step 6: