Hacklet #8: The Animals

8

This week on the Hacklet we’re looking at Hackaday.io projects that are all about animals! Hackers and makers are well-known animal lovers, in fact many a hacker can be found with a pet curled up at their feet, or on their keyboard!

catWater[Brian's] cat Roger loves drinking from the bathtub faucet. Unfortunately Roger hasn’t learned how to operate the faucet himself, so it gets left on quite a bit. To keep Roger happy while saving water, [Brian] created the Snooty Cat Waterer. Cat’s still don’t have thumbs, so [Brian] turned to capacitive sensing in the form of a Microchip MTCH10 capacitive proximity sensor chip. Coupled with a home etched PC board, the waterer can detect a cat at 3 inches. A valve and water feed teed off the toilet provide the flow. The project is moving along well, though Roger has been slow to warm up to this new water source.

 

catWater2[Jsc] has the opposite problem. His cat has decided that bathtubs are the perfect litter boxes. [Jsc] is taking aim at this little problem with his Cat Dissuader. After a servo controlled squirt bottle proved too anemic for his needs, [Jsc] turned to the Super Soaker Hydrostorm. These electric water guns can be had for as little as $16 on sale. [JSC] didn’t want to permanently modify the gun, so he 3D printed a switchable battery pack.The replacement pack is actually powered by a simple wall wart. Power to the gun is controlled by an Arduino, which senses his cat with a passive infrared sensor. Since the dissuader was installed, [Jsc's] cat has been a model citizen!

 

doggieBowlCat’s don’t get all the love though, plenty of engineers and hackers have dogs around the house. [Colin] loves his dog, but he and his family were forgetting to feed it. He created Feed the Dog to help the household keep its four-legged member from going hungry. [Colin] tried a microcontroller, but eventually settled on implementing the circuit with old-fashioned 4000 series CMOS logic chips. He used a 4060 (14-stage ripple counter w/ internal oscillator) as an 8 hour timer, and 4013 dual flip-flop. Operation of Feed the Dog is as simple as wagging your tail. Once the dog is feed, the human presses a button. A green “Just fed” LED will glow for 30 minutes, then go dark. After about 6 hours, a red LED turns on. After 8 hours, the red LED starts blinking, letting everyone know that it’s time to feed the dog.

 

chookin

[Steve] has outdoor pets. Chooks to be exact, or chickens for the non Australians out there. He loves watching his birds, especially Darth Vader, who is practicing to become a rooster. To keep track of the birds, he’s created What the Chook?, a sensor suite for the hen-house. He’s using a GCDuiNode with a number of sensors. Temperature, humidity, even a methane detector for when the bedding needs to be replaced. An OV528 JPEG camera allows [Steve] to get pictures of his flock. The entire project connects via WiFi. Steve hopes to power it from a couple of AA batteries. [Steve] also entered What the Chook? in The Hackaday Prize. If he wins, this will be the first case of flightless birds sending a human to space!

 

hackaspace-mini

Hey – Did you know that Hackaday is building a Hackerspace in Pasadena California? We’re rounding up the local community while our space is being built out. Join us at a Happy Hour Show & Tell Meetup Event hosted by our own [Jasmine Brackett] August 18th! It’s an informal show and tell, so you don’t have to bring a hack to attend. If you’re local to Pasadena, come on down and say hello!

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Hirudinea says:

    “Cats still don’t have thumbs…” Have you never heard of Youtube man!?

  2. Was thinking about buying a Super Soaker HydroStorm for an automated sentry, but after seeing scathing reviews on both the first sites I went to, Target and Walmart, no need to look any further I don’t think…wonder if there is a better alternative gun than this one.

  3. targetdrone says:

    Out of all the places a cat could choose to ‘go’ in my house, I would pick the bathtub as second only to the toilet itself. Easy to clean, rinse it it off, water drains away. Lot easier than cleaning the rugs.

  4. vonskippy says:

    @ Cat Waterer: Just leave water in a bowl, I guarantee you after a few days the cat will figure it out. If not, throw out the carcass and get a new pet that’s not completely retarded.

  5. echodelta says:

    Would you want to drink stale stagnate water in a bowl coated with a colony of bacteria vs. fresh flowing water? We are all wired to avoid such.

    Chickens are not flightless just short takeoff and landing only. At 45 Billion on earth at any one time they should know.

    • tekkieneet says:

      For an animal that lick themselves after they have done their business in the sandbox…

      My old housemate’s cat was pretty good on that. We leave him free feeing from a large bowl of dry food and water. We changed the water daily. If the food bowl was running low (or the cat want fresh ones), the cat would meow at me and walk me to the food bowl.

    • pcf11 says:

      My cat seems to like the fouled water on the plastic tray under the bowl. I try to tell him not to drink it but there’s no accounting for taste I guess?

  6. davedarko says:

    Nothing about the bee projects? Insects are animals too!

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