Introduction: Cat Food Bowl Covering Device

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

In this instructable I will be showing you how I made my Cat Food Bowl Covering device. This device was created to ideally lower a cover onto a food bowl left outside for our outdoor cats. This cover would keep other unwanted animals from eating the food left for the cats.

You could potentially change out of the buttons on the device to work with some kind of IR receiver or even a PIXI sensor to detect the color of your animal.

Overall this project was a ton of fun and was really AWESOME to make!

Step 1: Materials

  • Arduino Uno
  • Jumper Cables
  • Breadboard x2
  • Push Button x2
  • 200 ohm resistor x2
  • 1.5x1.5 inch wood
  • 3.5x.75 inch wood
  • .4 inch wooden dowel
  • SunFounder Metal Gear Digital RC Servo Motor
  • Stepper Motor 28BYJ-48
  • 9V battery
  • 9V battery adaptor for arduino
  • Time

Hand saw or circular saw to cut wood

Power drill with bits to drill holes in wood

Wood screws

Philips head screw driver

Step 2: Putting It Together

Wood Work

  1. Take your 1.5x1.5 inch wood and cut a 11 inch piece off, repeat this 3 more times. (these will be the corners of your box)
    1. Take one of these pieces and cut out a portion that can fit your servo motor about 1.5 inches from the top.
  2. Take your 1.5x1.5 inch wood and cut a 1 inch piece off. (this will hold the stepper motor)
  3. Take your 3.5x.75 inch wood and cut a 7 inch piece off, repeat this 5 more times. (this will be the sides of your box)
  4. Take your 3.5x.75 inch wood and cut a 10 inch piece off, repeat this 3 more time. (this will make up the back and top of your box)
  5. Take your wooden dowel and cut a 3 inch piece off, repeat this 2 more time.
  6. Taking all of these pieces you want to create a box with the one 11 inch piece from step 1 at the opening on the box facing inwards.
  7. Screw the piece from step 4 inside on the back piece opposite of the opening.
    1. Attach your stepper motor onto this
    2. Drill and small hole into one side of one of your dowels from step 5 and force into onto the step motor for a tight fit.
    3. Drill a small hole directly above this on the top of the box and near the front of the box and feed some small fishing line through it.

3D Printing

  1. Take the files along with this and print all of of them once except for the "lid link" which you will need 2 of
  2. Take your "lid link" and "lid" parts and glue the two links with the hole perpendicular to the lid and the hole.
  3. Attach the servo horn onto the end of "link1".

Putting it all Together

  1. Attach "link1" onto the servo motor.
  2. Run one of your wooden dowels in the holes of "link1" and "link2" and secure the ends in some form.
  3. Run another wooden dowel in the holes of "link2" and the 2 "lid link"s.
    1. Tie your fishing line off here on this dowel and spool and remaining fishing line until the link is almost upright to the box.

Step 3: Coding and Breadboard

Here is the coding that I wrote for this device. There is also a library that needs to be added to your Arduino library folder if you are using the same stepper motor as me. Like I said before in the intro a IR receiver or Pixi sensor could easily be added to this device. Also a schematic for the breadboard is here to show how my wires were run.

Currently the code is set to work with the project thus far. It operates off of the two buttons that I installed in the back and will raise and lower the cover based on which was pushed.

As you can see from the coding one buttons will activate the servo motor first and then the stepper motor. For the other button it is reversed and the stepper motor will work first and then the servo motor.

Step 4: Finished Product

Here is my finished product to compare to yours. As you can see mine is controlled by two buttons on the back of the device that tells the Arduino to go up or down. Hope you had an AWESOME time making my AWESOME MAKEcourse project!