Tell us about yourself!
Your cats must be cool cats. I built a similar feeder using an RC servo but my cats hated the buzzing noise of the servo motor and wouldn't go near it. Decades ago I also built a feeder using a fairly quiet gear motor and discrete OP Amps. It worked, they behaved. This time I should have used a stepper motor, congrats on your project.
Self monitoring sending a "friend" an email too is best. A security company will not repair a broken window, smashed door or fix anything. If you are away and a break-in has occurred, you need the break-in fixed. So email alerts to friends totally beats a security co. monitoring where they simply confirm what the alarm has already told you. Same for water leakage, freezer failure too. You need action not just confirmation of a problem.
Nice duck, next add a quack (and not the British euphemism for doctor). Make some for Christmas and you have christmas quackers. I'll quit now.
Electric steering has been around for well over 60 years. I did not see how one steers your boat when the system fails. Motors fail and seize, electronics fail, so an instantaneous takeover of the helm is an absolute requirement. To view one of the premier manufacturers of hydraulic and electric steering drives and autopilots, look to Ray Marine, they have been building them for many decades. As a school project, yours is fine, great project, and no doubt fun.
The lightbulb filament has a huge range in resistances depending on the current flowing through it and is quite non-linear. Regardless for a fun and simple project for kids, this is great.
In my view, ash is nicer than oak and can be finished to a smoother surface with less effort. Nice table.
The most awesome hack for steel wool was an instructable where a guy stuffed 0000 wool into the end of an automobile brake line with the other end connected to a needle valve attached to an oxygen cylinder. He fed oxygen through the line then lit the steel wool causing the entire brake line to become a welding or cutting lance. No acetylene, no combustible gases, just oxygen. Video was amazing.
Funny, there was a guy in the NW woods who made giant bigfoot strap on soles. He would stomp around popular lake and stream sandy or muddy shores to get the tourists all a twitter. He loved local media claiming that his bigfoot prints were the real thing.
Chinese website offers padlock picks that work on all types without entering the keyhole or dialing for combinations. These slide into the small gap around the shackle on the opening side and depress the internal latch. $5 for a complete set of quick and simple picks. Lose your key or combination? These are very fast, need no talent, and just work. To the complainers, a claw hammer will rip out most hasps in half a second, this is much easier than picking any lock so stop complaining that only crooks want to know how to open padlocks. Crooks don't have the patience or talent when a crowbar will do the job.