Introduction: Automatic Turtle Feeder

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

This is the automatic turtle feeder! It is an automated way to dispense turtle food into a fish tank. it fits snug on a regular sized fish tank and can hold 5 days worth of food.

It also has an automated countdown function for 1-5 days.

Here are the things you will need


1. Arduino uno

2. Breadboard

3. Wires

4. Stepper Motor With Stepper Motor bus

5. LCD screen with the I2c bus

6.IR Remote and IR sensor

7. Light Modeling Clay

8. Hot Glue

9.Electrons Housing -can be found here-

10. Access to 3d Printing.

11. External Power Source(12v plug or 9v battery)

12. Screwdriver

13. Drill

Note: Most if not all resources used can be found here at the makecourse website

Step 1: Electronics and Wiring.

For this step you will need all your electronic components. Specifically you will need:

1. Your Arduino

2. Breadboard

3. Wires

4. Stepper Motor With Stepper Motor bus

5. LCD screen with the I2c bus

6.IR Remote and IR sensor

7.External power source (12 volts is what i used in my final assembly however a 9v battery will power it sufficiently until it runs out of juice)

You'll wire it up accordingly sending all the power and ground wires to the power rails on the breadboard and using a connection from the 5v power on the arduino to the power rails. All of the components should not be running at the same time so the 5v connection should be enough (however the 12 volt power source or 9v battery is required.

The Stepper motor will be wired to digital pins 2-5

The IR sensor is wired to digital pin 11

and the I2c bus is wired to the

Step 2: Design and 3D Printing

I included the STL files for the 3D printed parts.
You may print my pieces or design one of your own!

(if you are making my project, i encourage you to create your own and post it! i'd love to see what you come up with)

Step 3: Programming

I included the arduino sketches.

The function sketch is necessary for the program to work.

Make sure the main sketch and Functions sketch are in the same folder titled Automatic_Turtle_Feeder or they will not work

The functions included are for the YK-001 IR remote but can be changed to work with any IR remote if the receiver keys are known.

Step 4: Final Assembly!

Begin by drilling holes in the back of the electronics housing and the spindle housing and screwing them together

Then insert the feed spindle and connect the stepper motor through the cold in the side of the spindle housing Make sure the spindle spins freely in the compartment. I had to sand mine down in order for it to spin freely.

After you have confirmed it fits, you may hot glue the stepper motor to the spindle housing. and insert the feed reservoir into the top of the housing (some sanding may be necessary).

Optional Step:

Use light molding clay to create a shell for the top of the electronics housing. Make sure to leave holes for the screws and a hold for the LCD screen. Let dry over night

Create a turtle head using clay to your liking and hot glue it to the top of the housing.


your turtle feeder is reader to feed your turtles and give you a few days of worry free rest!