Automatic Dog Feeder
Our family adopted a dog from Pet Rescue - she is a mix of short-haired border collie and a blue heeler. She is well behaved and very smart. Unfortunately, we were not always as attentive as we should be to her needs. Sometimes we would forget to feed her and often as we came and went at home, no one knew if she had been fed! So, mom asked me to solve the problem.
The dog feeder has WiFi, and can be programmed to automatically dispense food. The feeder has an Arduino Ethernet at the core, attached to a servo. The Ethernet cord connects to the wireless router inside of the assembly. I made the size of the scoop match our dog's meal portion.
By running a program on Windows or Mac, it will open the feeder's site, scoop up and dispense dog food into a bowl. This can be automated using task scheduler or iCalendar. The dog feeder features a camera and takes pictures so we know when the dog has been fed. The program keeps a log of the dates and times the feeder dispenses food.
My dog feeder project and maker activities got some attention - especially from educators.
I upgraded my prototype and demoed it at 2013 Maker Faire.