Automatic Pet/Cat Feeder

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About: I'm an educated engineer, with a drive for learning new stuff! I hope to make many instructables in the future to inspire and help others to be creative and innovative! Not all projects are either arduino o...

Welcome back!

As my second project on Indestructible I chose to do another thing to make my life easier.
I wanted to do something rather simple and wanted to learn "Fritzing" (Schematic drawing for Arduino), to make me able to update my other project Automatic greenhouse. "https://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Driven-Auto..."

My problem was my cat. his name is Emil. He always want food at night and if I forgot to put some in his bowl he will wake me up with a claw or a partial broken furniture. (it works...)

In this Instructable I will do my best to describe the steps I went though to be able to make the final product.
Hope You like it!

Step 1: First Things First!

The idea!

To begin with I made a lot of rough drawings to get closer to a possible solution.

The drawing is the final idea with the focus on the Stepper's lack in power. I have used these 5V steppers before and there is little but some power/moment in them.
Unnecessary info Alert!
To make sure that the Cat food didn't get stuck and prevented the motor for turning or simply if the food was to heavy to move around, I made a design where the pressure on the motor was on the axial direction. This way there wouldn't be a buildup in moment on the stepper, and it would have to lift or move anything. It only had to move out of the the way, to make the food flow.

Step 2: Moving It to 3D

I Don't have a huge workshop or many fancy machines to make perfect strait cuts. But i do work a place where i had the possibility to print a 1:1 drawing of the parts. Therefor i drew it in 3D and made a 2D drawing of the parts. printed them in 1:1 and the used scissors to do the rest. now i had something to cut after and i did that by gluing the paper models on a piece of MDF wood. i got a plate at my hardware store with dimensions:

12,5 x 800 x 1200 (mm) MDF wood

I made sure that the plate thickness is 12,5mm in 3D as well, before I printed the parts.

For the gear and the food hatch, I 3D printed it... Because who doesn't own one of those? ;-)

Step 3: Wood Working and Assembling

I glued the paper models on the wood and started cutting with a jigsaw.
And with the ability to assemble the parts onto the paper outline as well it makes the assembling very straight forward.

NOTE! make sure to "pre-drill" the holes before you screw in screws. this type of wood is very fragile and will possibly crack if you screw directly into the wood.

Step 4: Electronics!

First of all, Shopping list:

Arduino Nano

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nano-V3-0-Mini-USB-ATmega3...

Fumlebræt/Fumbleboard (we call it that)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1PCS-Mini-Prototype-Solder...

Stepper And controller

http://www.ebay.com/itm/5pcs-DC-5V-Stepper-Motor-U...

Buttons (chose your favorite)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/100Pcs-6X6X5-7-8-9-10-12-1...

LED

http://www.ebay.com/itm/300Pcs-3mm-3V-20mA-Round-L...

RTC

http://www.ebay.com/itm/5PCS-DS3231-AT24C32-IIC-pr...

Jumpwires

http://www.ebay.com/itm/120Pcs-Male-Female-Dupont-...

Resistors (4x 220 ohm, 1 x 1k ohm)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2000pcs-100-Values-1-ohm-1...

Some of the links let's you to a more that one piece order, but you can also chose another similar with only one piece pr order. the important thing is you can see what you are looking for! :-)

Not much description... get wiring!

oh yeah, all the libraries you need for Arduino is in the ZIP.

I hope you like my first Fritzing drawing! :-D

Step 5: Final Product!

There you go!

It should work.. otherwise please let me know! I will do my best to help you.

Automation Contest 2017

Runner Up in the
Automation Contest 2017

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    12 Discussions

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    AluisioL

    4 months ago

    Dude, I was compiling the code and it gave an error:
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Arduino\libraries\sunMoon-master/sunMoon.h:5:21: fatal error: TimeLib.h: No such file or directory

    #include <TimeLib.h>

    3 replies
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    TueBjørnAluisioL

    Reply 4 months ago

    Sup bro!
    Have you checked that you have installer the aquired libary? And that is it installer ind the robot folder and not in the “savefiles folder”

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    AluisioLTueBjørn

    Reply 4 months ago

    The library is the one you made available in the rar file, right? Do you have to do anything other than add to arduino libraries?

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    TueBjørnAluisioL

    Reply 4 months ago

    The TimeLib should be either in the rar file or in your standart libaries. if not, try to find the newest available version on google.

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    AluisioL

    4 months ago

    If you can call me at whatsapp for we talked about the project +55 38 9206-0154. I'm from Brazil

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    AluisioL

    4 months ago

    Cara, eu compilo o código e dei um erro:
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Arduino\libraries\sunMoon-master/sunMoon.h:5:21: fatal error: TimeLib.h: No such file or directory

    #include <TimeLib.h>

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    giecuk

    4 months ago

    the design seems simple and great...
    you are amazing !
    thanks for share it.

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    manicmonday

    Question 6 months ago

    Can you provide a short video of it working? Thanks

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    Dhruv Bose

    1 year ago

    Dude this is amazing! I've been wanting to make one for ages and it's so simple. Good build and all the best!

    1 reply
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    TueBjørnDhruv Bose

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks man! and yes it is quite simple! why wait?

    0
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    TueBjørnLucMerenda

    Reply 1 year ago

    It definitely made my mornings and evenings more duty free ;-)