Dog-Operated Treat Dispenser

Every good dog is deserving of a treat. [Eliasbakken]’s dog [Moby] is a certified good boy,  so he designed a dispenser with a touchscreen that his dog can boop to treat himself when he isn’t barking up a ruckus.

Adding a touchscreen to a treat dispenser when a button would suffice is a little overkill, but we’re not here to judge. [Eliasbakken] is using a BeagleBone Black — a Linux-based development platform — as this dispenser’s brains, and a Manga touchscreen that is likely to see a lot of use.  A wood-like material called Vachromat was laser cut for the frame and glued together, while an RC servo with a 3D-printed jointed pushing arm to dispenses the treats. The dispenser’s hopper only holds fifteen, so we expect it will need to be refilled every fifteen seconds or so.

Being a maker means that one has that many more ways to spoil our pets. As such, we’ve similarly complex treat dispensers before — one involving a camera and a dog’s personalized email address.

[via /r/DIY]

13 thoughts on “Dog-Operated Treat Dispenser

  1. Valchromat is a sort of resin-soaked wood paneling that’s absolutely great to work with (less splintering than real wood veneer, better durability than compressed/fiberboard).

    Also given it’s moistureproofing, I’d say it’s a definite doggie-slobber-proof choice :)

  2. From the description it sounds like there is a lockout period every time the dog barks, but in the imgur writeup, it just seems to be used as a simple push button functionality with no processing “voice” recognition or timer? Would a dog even be smart enough to figure out that barking in the house disables his treat machine for an hour?

  3. Am I the only person that wonders why a dog treat dispenser needs a display with a touchscreen?! I don’t think Moby is going to use a Skype to chat with his neighborhood buddies.

    A normal push button, perhaps with a fancy actuator, e.g. an illuminated push plate, would be a lot simpler and cheaper solution. The whole lot could probably run using a stupid 555 timer – one to generate the PWM for the servo and another one to keep the entire thing going while the treat is being dispensed. A $1 solution vs. $60 BeagleBone and at least $20-30 for the LCD.

    1. I know they mentioned that in the article, but +1. A BeagleBone alone is way overkill for this. If they wanted to do it in code a simple $2 Arduino Pro Mini could have done the job lol.

      To me, this screams: “I had a spare beaglebone and touchscreen laying around and am not creative enough to do something better with it* ”

      *Disclamer: no I’m not very project-creative either ;(

      1. While a agree with both of you, had this been done with a few discreet components, a simple dc motor with reduction box and a reed switch, the first comment would read, “Not a hack”
        There also appears to be an unwritten rule that says “any hack must be infinitely more compicated than is strictly necessary” and on that count this certainly qualifies.

    2. Well, the article says “Every good dog is deserving of a treat. [Eliasbakken]’s dog [Moby] is a certified good boy, so he designed a dispenser with a touchscreen that his dog can boop to treat himself when he isn’t barking up a ruckus.”

      Which says the dog designed the unit and has hos own dog. So the dog must have had a spare touch screen and pays are hard on buttons. the screen was the way to go.

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