In November 2016, I built an automated Cat Feeder, powered by Amazon Alexa (https://www.hackster.io/darian-johnson/alexa-powered-automated-cat-feeder-9416d4). The first build was very much a prototype: I needed a wooden dowel to hold the servo in place and the sensors were very “binary” in nature (they could not give me precise measurements e.g. – either the hopper was empty or ‘not empty’).
I kept making changes and updates, until I completed a more complete ‘Version 2.0’ of the Cat Feeder – with the following key changes:
- The Cat Feeder was now encased a better structure – leveraging a plastic two-gallon bucket and assorted rubber PVC pieces.
- An ultrasonic sensor was used to determine the amount of food in the Cat Feeder Hooper.
- Images from an attached camera are analyzed in a Python script to determine how full/empty the cat bowl is (0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%).
- Amazon Dash Replenishment was build into the code – enabling the Cat Feeder to automatically order cat food when the supply was low.
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