LittleBits Remote Pet Feeder




Introduction: LittleBits Remote Pet Feeder

About: littleBits makes an open-source library of electronic modules that snap together with tiny magnets for prototyping, learning, and fun. littleBits consists of tiny circuit-boards with specific functions enginee…

When away, make sure your pet (fish, cat, dog) never goes hungry with this WiFi-activated feeder. With this littleBits project, you can either feed your pet remotely by pressing a button on your phone or automating a feeding schedule through IFTTT (If This Then That). IFTTT is a service that lets you connect to different web apps through simple conditional statements.

Make this project with littleBits. littleBits is the easiest and most extensive way to learn and prototype with electronics. We are making hardware limitless with our award-winning, ever-growing library of electronic modules, ranging from the very simple (power, sensors, LED) to the very complex (wireless, programmable). This project uses the littleBits cloudBitTM. The cloudBit lets you connect any device to the internet, turning any object into an internet connected device in a snap – no soldering, wiring or programming required. Instructions for setting up the cloudBit can be found here.

How it works:

Any time the feeder receives a signal through the cloudBit, the servo is activated. In our case, we attached a fish food container with a small hole drilled in its side to the servo. When the servo turns, a few pellets drop out of the container and into the bowl.

You can activate the servo remotely in a couple different ways. You can either use the littleBits button in Cloud Control to send a single pulse to the cloudBit, activating the servo. Or, you could use an IFTTT channel, like Date & Time to automate the feeding at times you set.

Files you will need:

Pet Feeder Laser Cut Template

Bits Needed:

littleBits cloudBit (1)

littleBits USB power (1)

littleBits servo (1)

littleBits microUSB Wall Adapter (1)

Materials Needed:

Adhesive Shoes x4

⅜ inch round wood dowel

Blue acrylic (thickness:¼ inch, 24 x18)

Clear acrylic(thickness:⅛ inch, 12 x12)

Clear acrylic(thickness:¼ inch, 12 x12)

White acrylic(thickness:⅛ inch, 12 x12)

Acrylic Nuts (⅜ long)

No.33 Acrylic Glue

M3x0.5x8MM SLOT FLAT(50M030050H008)

M3x0.5x8MM HEX NUT (04M030050HN)

Round Tin

Tools Needed:

laser cutter

electric drill


Visit the littleBits project page for more DIY project ideas

Step 1: Begin by Making the Stand for the Remote Pet Feeder

Laser cut all the pieces using our attached cut template [remote pet feeder laser cut]

Step 2: Using Acrylic Glue, Glue the Two Layers of the Base Together (¼ Thickness Clear Acrylic)

The maximum thickness that our laser cutter can cut is ¼”, so we doubled up the layers here to make a sturdier base.

Step 3: Next, Glue the Base and Two Side Pieces Together

Step 4: Cut a ⅜” Wood Dowel to Connect the Two Sides at the Top, Providing Support for the Feeder

The length of the wood dowel you cut should be 4 inch. After you cut the dowel to size, sand the two ends to make them clean and smooth looking.

Step 5: Assemble the Top Shelf

Secure the shelf arms to the inside of the stand. Use nuts and bolts to do this.

Step 6: Secure the Servo to the Servo Holder

We used small nylon nuts and bolts. Then place the servo holder into the slots on the shelf arms.

Step 7: Build the Circuit

Refer to the circuit diagram. Set up your cloudBit if you haven’t already. You can find information about how to do this here.

Step 8: Stick the Circuit to the Stand

We used littleBits Adhesive Shoes to hold our circuit in place.

Step 9: Make the Fish Food Container

Drill a small hole in the side of the round tin. This is where the food will fall out when the servo turns. Glue or stick the tin to the servo arm, and then place the servo arm onto the servo (you may need to remove the arm that is already on there). Note: you may need to rotate the position of the servo arm so that food falls out how how you like.

Step 10: Now You Can Feed Your Dear Fish Remotely

You can activate the feeder in a couple different ways. You can either use the littleBits button in Cloud Control to send a single pulse to the cloudBit, activating the servo. Or, you could use an IFTTT channel, like Date & Time to automate the feeding at times you set.

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    This is nice, but here's a para kind of question - As someone who isn't going to be able to invest in buying capital equipment for hobby stuff any time soon (due to lack of living space and moving around the world), I'm getting a little tired of seeing projects that seem to require a laser cutter. I imagine this would be the case for a lot of other people who live in small housing, don't have money, or are children.

    Can anybody point me to an Instructable or other how-to on accurate cutting of plywood and plastic sheets using cheap hand tools? e.g. if let's say you have access to a printer that can print out paper patterns from PDFs, but your other tools are only like small hand saws, hand drill, files, rasps, and sandpaper. I know there are a few out there but the ones I've found are more specific like "how to drill a hole" etc.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    You can cut almost any shape you need by hand from acrylic using a coping saw or a fret saw with a fine blade and cleaning up with files. It just takes a bit of time to do a neat job.


    8 years ago

    where did you buy the lexan at?


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    The scrap bin at Tap Plastics is great, they sell 1ft x 1ft pieces and cutoffs cheap.