Monday, March 27, 2023
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RFID Cat Meals Dispenser Prevents Overfeeding

Life is nice whenever you solely personal a single pet, as a result of you possibly can dedicate your entire consideration to them and feed them in no matter means they like. However including a second pet into the combination complicates issues, particularly feeding. If one pet is a voracious eater and does not have boundaries, then they’re more likely to gobble up all of the chow that you just set out for the second pet. The thicc boi will get chonkier and the thin boi loses much more weight. To unravel this downside, Ben Krejci constructed an RFID cat feeder.

Krejci has two cats. One is a sluggish eater named Luna and the opposite, Fermi, is food-insecure, which suggests she is going to eat no matter meals she will get to—normally Luna’s noms. This cat feeder prevents that, as a result of it makes use of RFID to acknowledge Luna and solely opens up when she is able to take a couple of bites. When she walks away, the feeder closes a lid in order that Fermi cannot sneak in and begin chowing down on Luna’s meals. This ensures that Luna will get as a lot meals as she wants and retains Fermi from overeating and gaining an excessive amount of weight. Win/win!

RFID is an apparent option to establish a cat, particularly since many cats have already got RFID implants for monitoring. The issue is that RFID has a really quick vary. RFID pet implants particularly, which normally function at 125 kHz or 134.2kHz, require virtually bodily contact with the scanner to register. It might be very troublesome to coach a cat to rub the again of their shoulders towards an RFID scanner, so Krejci needed to take an opportunity on an overpowered RFID reader module from AliExpress. As a result of RFID tags pull their transmission energy from the reader, this will increase the working vary. It could be harmful, however Krejci figured it was definitely worth the (seemingly minimal) danger.

The cat feeder’s design is easy and enticing. Krejci modeled it in Autodesk Fusion 360 after which 3D-printed the components on a Prusa MINI+. It has a small compartment to include the meals, a motorized lid for that compartment, a customized antenna for the RFID reader, and an infrared beam sensor. Krejci designed the antenna construction in order that Luna would naturally duck beneath it to get to her meals, placing it close to the RFID implant between her shoulder blades.

An Adafruit ItsyBitsy M4 controls the cat feeder’s operation. It screens the RFID reader to find out when Luna is in place, and the infrared beam sensor to ensure the lid does not shut on her noggin. A small stepper motor actuates the lid by way of a easy geared mechanism, which is kind of intelligent contemplating that this was Krejci’s first foray into Fusion 360. It retains the operation quiet in order that the lid opening does not frighten Luna.

From what we will see, this RFID cat feeder works very well. We have now little question that it’ll encourage many different cat house owners. If you wish to duplicate the challenge, Krejci was type sufficient to add all the needed information.



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