Hamster Park

Introduction: Hamster Park

Want to have fun with your hamsters? Try this Arduino project!

This entertaining play field for hamsters including two major parts: the tracks on the sides and the elevator in the center. The tracks and the elevator forms a circular pathway, so your hamster can move around forever! You do not need expensive electronic parts, but you do need some manual skills to create the tracks. This project is great for people not so familiar with Arduino, but who are willing to place effort in making their unique tracks.

Step 1: Materials

Mechanical Parts:

  • Cardboard
  • Building blocks (for the structure)
  • Strings (for string of elevator)
  • Transparent folder
  • Plastic straw (fits to axis of the motor)
  • Plastic straw (thicker)

Electronic Parts:

  • Jump wires (about 20)
  • A DC motor (direct current)
  • A USB to jump wire adapter
  • A button
  • Arduino Leonardo
  • Bread board
  • L298N
  • Portable charger
  • Electric resistance (for the button)

Tools:

  • Scissor
  • Utility Knife
  • Marker/Pencil
  • Tape
  • Hot melt adhesive
  • Awl

Step 2: Create the Structure

  1. Cut the box open
  2. Build the structure with building blocks (if you do not have building blocks, use cardboard instead)
  3. Strengthen the back side of the structure with an extra piece of cardboard
  4. Create a piece of cardboard that fits the top of the structure
  5. Cut open two rectangular holes (the holes can be later fixed after the pulley was made)
  6. Create a base for the structure, drill a hole at the center to put in the button
  7. Place the base into the structure
  8. Fix the structure with the cardboard box

Step 3: Creates the Elevator Box

  1. Create a rectangular box as the elevator (I did 9cm * 9cm base with 8cm height)
  2. Drill to holes at each side of the box, then place the string through the holes
  3. Tie the strings at the top
  4. Measure the length of the string (depending on your elevator tower), and cut
  5. Cut to semicircles on the sides of the elevator box

Step 4: Create the Elevator Pulley & Combine

  1. Cut 2 segments of straw with the same length (5~7 cm)
  2. Stick the straw segments onto the two axis of the motor
  3. Create 4 circles with cardboard; drill a hole at the center
  4. Cut 2 segments of thick straw with the same length (2~3 cm)
  5. Stick the circles and the straw onto the axis as shown in pic 3
  6. Stick the strings to the thick straw axis (through the top layer of the elevator tower)
  7. Add extra cardboard parts to the side of the elevator shaft as track for the elevator (prevent wobbling)

Step 5: Connect the Arduino

  1. Connect the electronic parts as shown in the image
  2. Place the finished Arduino set into another cardboard box
  3. Connect the box with the main structure

Step 6: Coding and Adjustments

The code can be copied through this link:

https://create.arduino.cc/editor/casper1218/a4c12a...

*1000 unit in the code equals to 1 second

  • By changing the "delay(1500)" can alter the amount of time the elevator rises
  • By changing the "delay(15000)" can alter the amount of time the elevator stays at the top
  • By changing the "delay(1150)" can alter the amount of time the elevator descents

    Change the time length of elevator rise and descent to fit the height of your structure; change the waiting time of elevator to fit your need

    *Do not have too short of a waiting time to prevent the hamster being caught

Step 7: Finish Track

  1. Build the structure of the side tracks with the building blocks
  2. Cover the gaps with cardboard
  3. Make one side a up-down pathway
  4. Make the other side two separate platforms
  5. Cover the spaces between each column of the structure with cardboard

Step 8: Finish!

It is finished! Connect the power line to the charger, then connect the Arduino to your laptop, and you will be ready to have some fun!

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