Even though it seems the worst of COVID has passed, October generally kicks off cold and flu season, so why not continue to pass out Halloween treats in a socially-distanced fashion?
That is, of course the idea behind [Gord Payne]’s Halloween Treat Trough of Terror. Lay a treat at the top of the trough and it will activate the LED strips that follow the treat down to the end, as well as some spooky sounds. The treat in question is detected by an SR-04 ultrasonic distance sensor connected to an Arduino Nano.
All in all this was a highly successful build as far as neighborhood entertainment value goes. Toddlers stared in awe at the blinkenlights, teenagers proclaimed it ‘sick’, and we can only assume that the adults were likely happy to see something aimed at kids that’s not scary.
[Gord] has a nice how-to if you want to build your own, and of course, the Arduino sketch is available. Be sure to check it out in action after the break.
Don’t have room to build a treat slide? Here’s a socially-distanced dispenser that lets them stomp a giant button.
Continue reading “2023 Halloween Hackfest: Treat Trough Of Terror Is Actually Pretty Cute”
[MostElectronics], like many of us, loves cats, and so wanted to make an internet connected treat dispenser for their most beloved. The result is an ingenious 3D printed mechanism connected to a Raspberry Pi that’s able to serve treats through a locally run web application.
From the software side, the Raspberry Pi uses a RESTful API that one can connect to through a static IP. The API is implemented as a Python Flask application running under a stand alone web server Python script. The web application itself keeps track of the number of treats left and provides a simple interface to dispense treats at the operators leisure. The RpiMotorLib Python library is used to control a 28BYJ-48 stepper motor through its ULN2003 controller module, which is used to rotate the inside shaft of the treat dispenser.
The mechanism to dispense treats is a stacked, compartmentalized drum, with two drum layers for food compartments that turn to drop treats. The bottom drum dispenses treats through a chute connected to the tray for the cat, leaving an empty compartment that the top drum can replenish by dropping its treats into through a staggered opening. Each compartmentalized treat drum layer provides 11 treats, allowing for a total of 22 treats with two layers stacked on top of each other. One could imagine extending the treat dispenser to include more drum layers by adding even more layers.
Source code is available on GitHub and the STL files for the dispenser are available on Thingiverse. We’ve seen cat electronic feeders before, sometimes with escalating consequences that shake us to our core and leave us questioning our superiority.
Video after the break!
Continue reading “Local IOT Cat Treat Dispenser”
It’s pretty easy to train a dog to do things for treats. They’re eager to please. But a cat? Most cats have better things to do than learn tricks no matter how many treats are involved. But if you make an autonomous game out of learning a trick, they just might go for it.
That’s the idea behind Touchy Fishy, a pinball machine for cats. It’s the newest iteration of treat-dispensing machines that [Kim] made for his cat, MIDI. The previous version was shaped like a dog’s head with a joystick for a nose. MIDI was so adept at pulling the joystick toward herself that [Kim] decided to try a new design using a lever.
Humans like challenges, too, and [Kim] wanted to make something purely mechanical this time around. The final product is mostly springs and laser-cut acrylic. MIDI pulls the spring-loaded lever downward, launching a pinball upward in an arc. At the top of its trajectory is a spinner enclosed in a circle. When the pinball hits the spinner, it sweeps a treat toward an opening, and the treat falls down where MIDI can eat it. The best part? The spinner also returns the captive pinball to its starting point, so MIDI can play until [Kim] gets tired of dropping treats into the hole. Watch MIDI claw her way to the high score after the break.
Most of the cat-related projects we’ve seen were built to keep hungry cats from sitting on their owner’s chests at 3AM, demanding to be fed. Here’s one that goes a step further by putting the cat to work collecting wiffle balls which it uses to pay for small amounts of kibble.
Continue reading “Cat Plays The Silver Ball For Treats”