So instead of feeding my cat, I hide these balls around the house…
This all started after I read an explanation of why cats go about repeatedly exploring the same areas: it’s partly to establish and survey their territory, but they’re also practicing ‘mobile’ hunting: moving about, being curious, and poking their noses around in the hopes of upsetting potential prey and finding a meal.
So what if my cat, while out on patrol, actually found its prey? Surely this would bring him one step closer towards a more fulfilled and self-actualized indoor kitty existence.
I imagined hiding little bowls of food around the house… then I imagined me actually refilling these bowls. Then I imagined having to move them around to different hiding spots, spilling, forgetting, and every so often, perhaps only after following a trail of ants, finding one undiscovered and rancid. Hmmm, maybe there’s a way to hide something else, a way to hide something other than food, a way to make something not-food = food…
Want to Give it a Try?
I’ve received a few questions from people interested in building something similar, so the rest of this post has some tips.
Adafruit PN532 NFC/RFID Controller Shield for Arduino + Extras: We’ve taken our popular Adafruit PN532 breakout board and turned it into a shield – the perfect tool for any 13.56MHz RFID or NFC application. The Adafruit NFC shield uses the PN532 chip-set (the most popular NFC chip on the market) and is what is embedded in pretty much every phone or device that does NFC. This chipset is very powerful, and can pretty much do it all, such as read and write to tags and cards, communicate with phones (say for payment processing), and ‘act’ like a NFC tag. While the controller has many capabilities, our Arduino library currently only supports reading/writing tags, and does not support phone-to-shield communication, tag emulation (which requires an external ‘secure element’ only available from NXP) or other more advanced features at this time. Read more.
Simple RF M4 Receiver – 315MHz Momentary Type: These Simple RF receivers are the easiest way possible to add wireless control, painlessly! There’s no programming, configuring or addressing – simply power the receiver with 5-10VDC and press the buttons on our matching RF keyfob remote. When the A button is pressed, it activates the first pin, when the B button is pressed, it activates the second one, and so forth for all four buttons. There’s no microcontroller required, its just a simple one-to-one link. Read more.
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