Food Dispenser Shakes And Rattles

[Elite Worm] follows a strict diet that involves regularly mixing dry ingredients in varying proportions. The task grew tedious, and thus automation became a tantalising prospect. Enter the DIY shaking food dispenser.

The machine has a simple touch screen interface, with an Atmega328P running the show behind the scenes. The user can store a series of profiles, which each correspond to a different mixture of four base ingredients. Dealing with dry ingredients like oats, chia, and flax, shaking is often necessary to get things moving. To achieve this, the rig packs a hefty DC motor up top, which turns an eccentric shaft, shaking the whole rig. Each ingredient hopper has a servo-controlled nozzle, so ingredients can be dispensed in turn, with a load cell in the base measuring the weight delivered.

It’s a neat system, though [Elite Worm] notes that the device shakes just a little too much, and suspects it won’t hold up in the long term. We suspect a less violent, higher frequency vibration might be less hard on the components, but we’re sure there’ll be some quality engineering going into the next build. We’ve seen [Elite Worm]’s work here before, too. Video after the break.

17 thoughts on “Food Dispenser Shakes And Rattles

    1. I developed a hack for that. If you move your mouse over the video, a small bar will pop up along the bottom of the video. If you carefully move your mouse along the bar, you can see a preview of the video at the time location of your mouse. Move to the right until the ad disappears, then click. Thank me later.

    1. did you miss the “Follows a strict diet” or are you stuck so far up your own ass that you can’t conceive of people having severe dietary restrictions “or I’ll die in large amounts of pain”?

      1. “Follows a strict diet” was written by the editor, not the maker. The video claims no such thing, nor does it say why the maker needs to mix things so carefully. So I’ll stick with “everyone wants to be special”, mmkay?

  1. we’ve brainstormed this a few times in the form of a catfood dispenser (as anyone with cats has). where dry catfood seems to have ideal interlocking shapes and it being slightly greasy and hygroscopic, tends to stick together and block up almost everything. shaking was one option, but that does tend to interlock the shapes together perfectly.
    the one I thought would work best is making a flexible achimedes screw, by twisting up a thin bristle (for instance the ones used under doors). that way the catfood can’t jam up the screw, there is some separating action, and since it doesn’t try to jam interlocking shapes through a small orifice, far less likely to clump. and it self resets if stuff goes wrong, which is important if you want to trust it to actually feed the cats.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.