Sometimes daily tasks, like feeding pets, can feel like a real chore. To help with alleviate the mundane aspects of daily life, [Erik Berglund] has created an automatic fish feeder, complete with 3D print files, firmware, and an Android app for complete control over scheduling and feeding.
The mechanics of the fish feeder include a screw conveyor system that pushes the food pellets fed from a food store basin. The screw conveyor is driven by a Feetech FS5106R servo which provides enough force to overcome jamming that might occur with pellets getting stuck in the conveyor system. [Erik Berglund] writes that the system can dispense about 0.9 g/s and that it’s designed for granulated food, as flakes have problems because “their low density and large surface area tend to get them stuck in the throat of the hopper” — an issue that we’ve looked into previously.
[Erik Berglund] used [coberdas]’s fish feeder as the base, upgrading it with a better servo, adding a Raspberry Pi Zero W along with software for the Pi and an Android application to control the schedule of feedings. There’s also a DS1307 real time clock module to keep precision time and a push button for “manual” feeding. If you’re looking to follow along at home, you can find the Python scripts that run on the Pi and the source code for the Android application in their respective GitHub repositories.
What do you think of when you hear the word pond? If you’re like most people, it conjures up images of a simple water-filled hole in the ground, maybe with a few fish added in for good measure. But not [Anders Johansson] — his pond is a technical marvel, utilizing more unique pieces of hardware and software than many of the more traditional projects that have graced these projects over the years.
In fact, this is one of those projects that is so grand in scope that any summary we publish here simply can’t do it justice. The aptly-named Poseidon project is built up of several modular components, ranging from an automated fish feeder to an array of sensors to monitor the condition of the water itself. How many other ponds can publish their current water level, pH, and oxygen saturation over MQTT?
[Anders] has provided schematics, 3D models, and source code for all the various systems built into the pond, but the documentation is where this project really shines. Each module has it’s own detailed write-up, which should provide you with more than enough guidance should you want to recreate or remix what he’s put together. Even if you use only one or two of the modules he’s put together, you’ll still be ahead of the game compared to the chumps who have to maintain their pond the old fashioned way.
With summer in full swing in the Northern Hemisphere, millions of people are out on vacation leaving millions of homes empty. Thanks to modern technology it’s easier than ever to keep an eye on those empty homes: internet-connected cameras report suspicious activity, and smart-home devices like curtains and light bulbs can be operated from your holiday home. If you’ve got an aquarium and want to keep your fish well-fed during your vacation, then [FoxIS]’s internet-connected automated fish feeder might come in handy too.
The heart of the system is a 3D-printed mechanism that holds a bottle of fish food in a funnel and dispenses a set amount through a servo-operated shutter. The servo is driven by an ESP32 sitting inside an M5StickC IoT development kit. [FoxIS] wanted to use TinyGo for this project, which unfortunately meant that he couldn’t use the ESP32’s built-in WiFi system due to software limitations. He therefore connected the M5StickC to a Raspberry Pi, which he can log into from anywhere in the world to operate the feeding mechanism or to watch his aquatic pets through a USB camera.
Apart from automating the feeding process, the FishFeeder system also keeps track of the aquarium’s temperature through an IR thermometer and shows reminders for other maintenance tasks, such as changing the water or cleaning the filter. A minor inconvenience is the requirement to have that Raspberry Pi present for internet connectivity, but perhaps a future version of TinyGo will support WiFi on the ESP32 and make the FishFeeder a fully self-contained system.
Fish are easy to keep as pets, requiring little more than regular feeding to keep them happy in the short-to-medium term. If you’re going on holiday, it can be nice to know that your pets are being taken care of, but finding someone to take on the chore can be hard. [Trevor_DIY] doesn’t need to worry about that, however – he’s built an automatic feeder to handle the job.
The build uses an Arduino Uno as the brains, with the only additional hardware required being a stepper motor and driver. The stepper motor drives a 3D printed wheel, with 14 slots – each one holding one meal for the fish. This allows the feeder to deliver two meals a day for a full week before requiring attention.
The feeder is configured to feed a breakfast meal, then a dinner meal 8 hours later, and then wait 16 hours before breakfast comes around again. Rather than use a real-time clock, this is simply handled with the Arduino’s built in delay function. While it isn’t super accurate, this should be close enough over a week to keep the fish alive. We’d be interested as to just how far it drifts over time.
Overall, it’s a quick and tidy way to keep the pets going without a lot of fuss. Pet feeders are a popular project, as they solve a common problem faced by owners the world over; this one can even handle wet cat food. Video after the break.
We get it. You love your fish, but they can’t bark or gently nip at your shin flesh to let you know they’re hungry. (And they always kind of look hungry, don’t they?) One day bleeds into the next, and you find yourself wondering if you’ve fed them yet today. Or are you thinking of yesterday? Fish deserve better than that. Why not build them a smart fish feeder?
Domovoy is a completely open-source automatic fish feeder that lets you feed them on a schedule, over Bluetooth, or manually. This simple yet elegant design uses a small stepper motor to drive a 3D-printed auger to deliver the goods. Just open the lid, fill ‘er up with flakes, and program up to four feedings per day through the 3-button and LCD interface. You can even set the dosage, which is measured in complete revolutions of the auger.
It’s built around an ATMega328P, but you’ll have to spin your own board and put the feeder together using his excellent instructions. Hungry to see this feeder in action? Just swim past the break.
[enddev]’s creation is based around an Arduino Mega, and the interface is three buttons and an LCD. The user selects between liquid and powder, followed by the desired measurement. If liquid is chosen, the peristaltic pump is engaged to deliver the specified amount through silicone tubing. The current powder setup uses a kitchen scale, which the designers found to be inaccurate for small amounts. They believe that a volume auger and stepper motor would be ideal.
The team mentions that the powder delivery system is better suited for flakier substances since it’s basically agitated out of the container. This makes us think this would be great for feeding fish. If you take this admirably-written Instructable and use it to feed your fish or something, let us know. Their code is on the gits.
A copper bar hangs from the middle of a metal cylinder – much like a bell. The end of the bar has a fish lure. When a fish pushes the lure, the copper bar touches the metal cylinder and closes the circuit. This signal goes to an Arduino. To catch the attention of the fishes and to “teach” them, an RGB LED is used. The fish need to figure out that the feeder will dispense food only when the LED is ON and the Lure is pushed. If the fish figure that out, and push the lure when the LED is on, a servo is activated which pushes the feeder to deliver 1 unit of fish food. While at it, he added a couple of bells and whistles. A buzzer to indicate when the Lure switch is closed and a 2 line LCD shows how many times the switch has been activated and how long the program has been running.
A Sparkfun open logger stores the hit count and the minutes and seconds of the hit for data analysis later on. The good news is that it seems to be working. The current code activates the feeder for 30 to 60 minutes every day, which is indicated by the LED. At the end of 9 days, [RoboPandaPDX] found that the goldfish would hit the Lure when the LED turned on, and then turn around to face where the feeder would dispense food in to the tank. His next plan is to put up some obstacles along the path to see if the fish learn some new tricks. His schematic looks a little iffy (the Lure switch is connected to the RST pin of the Arduino), and it seems he cannot remember why he ever did that. He’s happy that it works though, but we’re sure that’s not the right way to wire it up.
[RoboPandaPDX] is looking for suggestions on improving his interactive feeder, so if you have any, do add them in the comments below.
If you need some more fish feeder ideas, check out this and this that we blogged about earlier.