7fc43402 2efb 4f27 9763 e788d858d304

invention

Treat Dispenser

by littleBits

Published on December 10, 2014

Rig up a system where your pet can text you when he or she is in need of some NOMs, and you can feed them... from anywhere in the world! 

How it works:
When your cat places his/her paw on a pressure sensor, the cloudBit activates, triggering an IFTTT recipe to send you a text message ["feed me!"]. IFTTT (If This Then That) is a service that lets you connect to different web apps through simple conditional statements.

You can respond by pressing the button on the Cloud Control app. This will send a signal back to your cloudBit telling it to activate a servo. When the servo turns, it unlocks a latch to the mechanism that drops the food.


RECIPES

How To Make It

STEP 1

Set up your cloudBit if you haven’t done so already. Instructions for setting up the cloudBit can be found here.

STEP 2

Connect your circuit: USB power + wire + pressure sensor + wire + threshold + cloudBit + servo. The servo should be set to "turn mode". We held our circuit together with littleBits adhesive shoes.

STEP 3

Now you need to set the threshold. You will want to do this so your cat doesn't have to put that much pressure on the sensor in order to trigger the cloudBit. To activate the cloudBit, you need to send it at least 2.5 volts. If you [or your cat] only put a little bit of pressure on the pressure sensor, you may not send enough voltage to trigger the cloudBit. The threshold allows you to turn the pressure sensor into a digital input [like a button which sends 5V when pressed] at a certain sensitivity that you set. 

Click here to learn how to set your threshold module.

STEP 4

Test to make sure the circuit is working correctly. In Cloud Control on the "receive" tab, you should see the readout change between 00 to 99 when you press and release the pressure sensor. In the "send" tab, you should be able to activate your servo by pressing the button on screen.

STEP 5

Build a custom treat dispenser or hack an existing one that you already have. For build inspiration check out the "Remote Pet Feeder" project.

STEP 6

Now you can feed your pet at anytime from anywhere in the world!

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