Saturday, May 18, 2013

DIY Cat feeder v2.0

Bingo, I just finished my cat feeder v2.0 ! No more cereal dispenser, I built everything myself ! I had the choice between different systems, but i chose an archimedes' screw. I had several prerequisites:

  • An accuracy of 5grs
  • Dispense food in two bowls
  • Easily get feedback

So I chose the Archimedes' screw, but I still had to supply it with dry food. So I get my saw and medium to build the box. I had set a size constraint : do not exceed the formwork of the radiator in the kitchen, or 11cm. In addition, I wanted to hang it on the wall and paint it in the color of the kitchen, in order to make it less visible.

The box is 11cm x 30cm x 32cm, and is made mostly from 8mm and 12mm medium. (It is almost my stock of wood scrap that determined the thickness).

The system is simple : It's a funnel for the dry food fall into the Archimedes' screw. I had some trouble with biscuits blocked in the hole (causing empty distribution). I solved the problem with some dremel sanding to cut the holes. I then have no worry with it.

When the biscuits reach the bottom of the tank, the Archimedes' screw, which is inside a 4cm diameter PVC pipe, moves the dry food to the two holes.

On this intermediate release, you can see the various components i used : an Arduino, a proto-shield, a DS1307 based RTC board, and a relay board with the IKEA screwdriver motor (FIXA 3.6V).
To attach the motor to the wood, i used polymorph. The binding is very strong and stable, I did not notice any vibration at startup. Pretty awesome.

I also improved the interface by adding a LCD screen, and a serial interface to allow modification of parameters (RTC time, number of distributions per day, reset the last fooding date) and dispense a dose, by sending command throught serial link : h to print help, + to increase the daily distributions...

And finally, here is the LCD display when a distribution occurs. It's a HD77480 LCD screen I bought on ebay for 5€. I used the classical 4-bits interface and the LiquidCrystal library available with the Arduino IDE. I create some custom characters to draw a small clock on the second line.
The first line print the current time and the number of distribution per day, the second the remaining time before the distribution.

Here is a test-run of 24 distributions :

All the code is available on my github

39 comments:

  1. Looks like you need a larger receptacle...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Projet super sympa !
    Je pense que le flux de croquettes pourrait être diminué ou contrôler avec un tube en PVC plus proche du dessus de la gamelle !
    En tout cas c'est excellent :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. En fait, j'ai un souci que j'ai remarqué une fois le conteneur vide : un petit bout de plastique polymorph qui faisait l'étanchéité en croquette a sauté. Du coup, les croquettes tombent aussi au milieu (on le voit bien dans la vidéo...) :(

      Delete
  3. Thanks a lot for the tip about polymorph plastic, I had as you found Sugru but that only takes you half way! Im now waiting for my polymorph plastic order to arrive. Have you got any pictures of the archimedes screw before you mounted it in the tube? Also how did you mold it, did you do it it parts or just shaped it from one big piece of plastic by had in one go? Thanks for sharing your build.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have picture of the screw, see here :) http://www.blogouillage.net/2013/02/the-awesomeness-of-plastic.html In this article, I link some interesting documents about polymorph molding.

      I made it with 1mm sheet of polymorph and then use a powerful lighter to meld the sheet and the axis. It was a very long process !

      Delete
  4. Nice technology used.I like your post.
    Router Mill

    ReplyDelete
  5. I want to use this motor for a project. Do you know the current it consumes?

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a really awesome post this is. Truly, one of the best posts I've ever witnessed to see in my whole life. Wow, just keep it up. applaws cat food review

    ReplyDelete
  8. hi become just seeing in case you minded a remark. i moreover your website and the thme you picked is tremendous. I may be uphold occurring. cat food reviews

    ReplyDelete
  9. i've these days commenced a blog, the information you pay for more or less this website online has helped me substantially. thanks for every considered one of certainly one of of a while & discharge loyalty. best cat food

    ReplyDelete
  10. This means they will meet all your cat’s nutritional requirements to help keep her healthy. cat food reviews

    ReplyDelete
  11. If you have the money on the sideline, feel free to choose the most expensive item from our list. Fore more information don't hesitate to checkBest Automatic Cat Feeder Wet Food

    ReplyDelete
  12. You there, this is really good post here. Thanks for taking the time to post such valuable information. Quality content is what always gets the visitors coming. cat owners

    ReplyDelete
  13. Personally, I have found that to remain probably the most fascinating topics when it draws a parallel to. You may find two to three new levels inside L . a . Weight loss and any one someone is incredibly important. Initial stage may be real melting away rrn the body. lose weight How do i keep my cat out of my christmas tree

    ReplyDelete
  14. You completed certain reliable points there. I did a search on the subject and found nearly all persons will agree with your blog. túlméretes szállítás

    ReplyDelete
  15. Awesome and interesting article. Great things you've always shared with us. Thanks. Just continue composing this kind of post. inside dog house

    ReplyDelete


  16. Aiman Online Quran Learning Academy is an impressive online academy for teaching the Quran.
    This leading online Quran academy from
    Pakistan provides you an excellent chance to have one
    to one online Quran classes with tajweed and learn the basic teachings of Islam.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hello I am so delighted I located your blog, I really located you by mistake, while I was watching on google for something else, Anyways I am here now and could just like to say thank for a tremendous post and a all round entertaining website. Please do keep up the great work. What are the symptoms of thyroid problems in dogs?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hello I am so delighted I located your blog, I really located you by mistake, while I was watching on google for something else, Anyways I am here now and could just like to say thank for a tremendous post and a all round entertaining website. Please do keep up the great work. What are the symptoms of thyroid problems in dogs?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Big thanks for the useful info. kurgo dog harness

    ReplyDelete
  20. I high appreciate this post. It’s hard to find the good from the bad sometimes, but I think you’ve nailed it! would you mind updating your blog with more information? best soft cat carrier

    ReplyDelete
  21. Great survey, I'm sure you're getting a great response. top rated cat food

    ReplyDelete
  22. What is Tajweed? It means to read Quran beautifully. Moreover, it means that to vocalize each letter carefully with all its standards. Almighty Allah Says in the Holy Book that “Read the Holy Qur’an without hurrying and generating the letters clear.” So, Learn Quran Online by joining Aiman Online Quran Academy.
    All basics you need in learning Arabic language are in our online coursesduain for kids
    online quran acadmey
    you can aslso check the Courses for new muslim Here.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I just got to this amazing site not long ago. I was actually captured with the piece of resources you have got here. Big thumbs up for making such wonderful blog page! organic ghee

    ReplyDelete
  24. I like your post. It is good to see you verbalize from the heart and clarity on this important subject can be easily observed... hamster cage ideas

    ReplyDelete
  25. When you use a genuine service, you will be able to provide instructions, share materials and choose the formatting style. Check it out

    ReplyDelete
  26. This is my first visit to your web journal! We are a group of volunteers and new activities in the same specialty. Website gave us helpful data to work. Check it out

    ReplyDelete
  27. Cool stuff you have got and you keep update all of us. Click Here

    ReplyDelete
  28. I like your post. It is good to see you verbalize from the heart and clarity on this important subject can be easily observed... Getting rid of hairballs

    ReplyDelete
  29. I like your post. It is good to see you verbalize from the heart and clarity on this important subject can be easily observed... High Protein Cat Food

    ReplyDelete
  30. We have sell some products of different custom boxes.it is very useful and very low price please visits this site thanks and please share this post with your friends. Flea and Heartworm Pill for Dogs

    ReplyDelete
  31. Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work. Natural Appetite Stimulant for Dogs

    ReplyDelete
  32. When you use a genuine service, you will be able to provide instructions, share materials and choose the formatting style.Check Ib

    ReplyDelete
  33. I appreciate several from the Information which has been composed, and especially the remarks posted I will visit once more.  Aegean College

    ReplyDelete
  34. I really awed after read this in light of some quality work and instructive thoughts . I just wanna offer significant thanks for the writer and need you to appreciate all that life brings to the table for coming!. dinero urgente

    ReplyDelete