Not Even Hamsters Are Safe From The Internet Of Things

The internet of things is this strange marketing buzzword that seems to escape from the aether and infect our toasters and refrigerators. Now even a hamster is not safe.

[Mifulapirus]’s hamster, Ham, was living a pleasant hamster life. Then his owner heard about another hamster named Sushi, whose running wheel stats were broadcasted to the internet. Not to be left behind, Ham’s wheel was soon upgraded. Now Ham is burdened by the same social pressures our exercise apps try to encourage us to use. No, we are most certainly not going to tell our friends about two fourteen minute miles with a twenty minute coffee break in the middle, MapMyRun, we are not.

The feat of techno enslavement for the little hamster was accomplished with a custom board, an esp8266, and an arduino as described in the instructable. The arduino can be left out of the project now that the libraries have been ported to the esp8266. A hall effect sensor detects when the 3D printed hamster wheel is spinning.

If you’d like to check in on Ham, the little guy is alive and well, and the twitter is here. It looks like it’s been upgraded since the original article was posted. Now it shows when Ham is awake and running around the cage doing hamster errands.

9 thoughts on “Not Even Hamsters Are Safe From The Internet Of Things

  1. At a local medical (research) center they have a few thousand animals they test. One of these tests is with autistic mice. For these experiments they’ve automated all cages, logging when the animals eat, when they drink. Mostly by IR gates.

    Another project monitoring rat behavioral has a load cell for the food container and a ‘lick-o-meter’ (drinking bottle touch sensor). This way they can accurately determine how much the rats drink. I got one of those sensor modules and am planning to monitor my own pet rats. I’m still trying to find a way to do the wiring (a way the rats cannot reach). Monitoring the food/drink and pet wheel can be a good way to monitor the overall health of the animals.

  2. Hey, Mifulapirus here!

    I just found out about this article and I’m exicted to see the attention it brought back to Ham, my hamster.

    I moved from Spain to California few months back, but I left Ham and the RunningHam Palace in good hands with my friend Joseba, who took care of some new improvements such as the camera stream.

    You guys made my day :)

  3. Now imagine this applied to child (or adult) – monitor the amount of exercise done and food consumed and that data could be used to control the amount of TV/computer/gaming time per day or even the range of the remote – if you haven’t done enough exercise the remote range reduces so you need to get out of the chair to change channels etc….

    1. That remote idea is hilarious. I’m also imagining the number of available channels decreasing until all that’s left is genuinely educational content.

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