Project

# Title Team Members TA Documents Sponsor
39 Auto cat snack dispenser and exercise machine
Natalie Xu
Yuhan Bi
Zutai Chen
Jeff Chang design_document3.pdf
final_paper1.pdf
other1.pdf
photo1.JPG
photo2.JPG
photo3.JPG
photo4.JPG
presentation1.pdf
proposal2.pdf
proposal1.pdf
# Team Members:
- Zutai Chen (zutaic2)
- Yuhan Bi (yuhanbi2)
- Natalie Xu (hanzexu2)
# Problem
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.
# Solution
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
cats’ movements.
## 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
reached.

● 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.)

Laser Harp MIDI Controller with Musical Articulations

Yingxi Hai, Hanze Tu

Laser Harp MIDI Controller with Musical Articulations

Featured Project

Electronic music concerts usually need eye-catching visual aids to create a certain atmosphere. Laser musical instruments is a great way to do this. We have been thinking of this project for a while and it was ECE445 that made this laser harp come true. The novelty of this project is that the harp-like laser device mainly focuses on playing articulations with laser and sensors, as a true universal MIDI controller, to control timbres that are synthesized or sampled. Articulations include piano/forte, vibrato, tremolo, and portamento. With the help of Professors and TAs, we learned how to pick right the components, design PCB, soldering, and program microcontroller. Those skills are not only useful in this class but also really important to electrical engineers. Also, we learned how to use individual strengths, combined with effective teamwork, in the pursuit of meaningful goals.

Project Videos