|39||Auto cat snack dispenser and exercise machine
|# Team Members:
- Zutai Chen (zutaic2)
- Yuhan Bi (yuhanbi2)
- Natalie Xu (hanzexu2)
When people are not at home, pet cats may get bored and
hungry. Although there are many types of auto feeders on the
market, most of them are designed to dispense food based
simply on the remote command of the owner or the request of
the cat itself. There are several problems related to such designs.
Feeders that are based solely on the cats’ demands may cause
cats to overeat and have unhealthy diet habits. Other feeders,
which require owners to grant permission every time, can be
inconvenient and useless when owners are not able to stay
active. In addition, both two types of feeders mentioned above
fail to keep track of the amount of exercise cats have done,
especially when the owners are not there to play with their cats.
Therefore, how to cheer cats up, feed them automatically, and
ensure enough exercise of them have all become problems.
To solve the three problems mentioned above, we are planning
to design an auto cat snack dispenser and exercise machine. This
cat feeder toy project involves two crucial parts: a movement
detection unit, an entertainment unit, and a snack dispenser. It
can attract cats’ attention and lead them to do exercise, and it
can also detect cats’ movements and record how many exercises
cats have done. After the cats have done enough exercises, this
device will start to drop food for them.
# Solution Components
## Subsystem 1: The entertainment unit
We plan to use a red laser pointer to attract cats’ attention. This
red laser pointer will be attached to the ceiling, which can be
turned on once the infrared sensor detects cats’ approaching.
Once the laser pointer is turned on, the system starts to record
## Subsystem 2: The movement detection unit
We will use four types of sensors to detect cats’ movement.
Three sensors will be placed in a special cat collar except for the
infrared sensor, which will be placed on the dispenser.
Gyroscope: This sensor is to measure the angular rotational
velocity and acceleration of cats.
Gravity sensors: This sensor measures cats’ movement in a
vertical direction. When cats jump up on the table, their
movements can also be recorded.
Accelerometers: This sensor is to ensure that cats are physically
doing exercises. It can measure the acceleration of our cats.
Infrared sensors: This sensor is used to detect if cats approach
the machine. It turns on the machine when the cat is seeking
snacks under it.
## Subsystem 3: The snacks dispenser
After enough exercises are recorded, snacks will be dispensed.
This subsystem ensures a fixed amount of snacks is dispensed
each time. The system then halts for a period of time until the
next activation becomes available.
# Criterion For Success
● The machine turns itself on and activates the entertainment
subsystem when a cat is seeking food under the dispenser.
● If the cat does not react to the entertainment system after a
a short period of time, the machine turns off automatically
and waits for the next activation.
● Cats’ movements are recorded, and the machine will
dispense snacks after a certain amount of exercise are
● Once snacks are dispensed, the system will turn off and rest
for a period of time before the next activation is available
to limit the total amount of snacks offered.
(We stayed after the class and got permission to move to RFA.)