DIY Pet Feeder Using Bolt for Cloud Pro

Story

You've just reached office and realised something. Oops! You forgot to add food to your pet's food bowl.

Isn't this annoying and traumatic?

Not to worry anymore as using this guide and a few objects lying around your garage, you can ensure that your pet never goes hungry again and you can feed him/her remotely at the click of a button.

Feed me human

Basic Working

The main aim is to remotely feed your pet at the click of a button. On receiving the command from you, the housing should then open and close a trap door which would automatically dispense treats to the hungry waiting pet.

Step 1: Avengers, Assemble!

  • Cardboard pieces. (Preferably large up or up to your liking)
  • Pair of scissors.
  • Sturdy plastic spoon.
  • 1 inch nail.
  • Hot Gun Glue.
  • Marker.

 

Tools

Connect the servo motor to the Bolt device, power up the Bolt device and make sure that the Bolt device is connected to a working WiFi network, and the green LED is glowing.

 

Step 2: Fabricate the Housing

In order to make the housing of your pet feeder, select a few pieces of cardboard that are sturdy enough. You can also choose different materials for your housing if you like.

Next, form two 'L' shapes with the cardboard pieces which are identical. Mark 5cms from the bottom of the short hand of the 'L'. Refer the image below for any clarification. Label the two 'L's as A1 and A2 respectively.

Next cut a rectangular piece of cardboard that is about 7 cm longer than the width of your housing and about 3 cm smaller than the thickness of your housing. Label this part as 'B'.

Make a hole in the spoon which is slightly larger than the nail that you are using as a pivot and insert the nail through it. Make sure that the spoon can rotate freely about the nail like a fidget spinner.

Next heat up the gun glue and glue the nail to the part labeled B. Make a rectangular hole 2cm by 2cm in part B which is roughly 3cm left of the centre.

In part A1, about 8 cm from the bottom, glue a rectangular piece of cardboard which is equal to the length and breadth of A1.

Cut a rectangular hole in cardboard above which is roughly in the center.

In parts A1 and A2, cut a rectangular hole which is roughly 1 cm in height and slightly lesser than the width of parts A1 and A2.

Now glue A1 and A2 together so that they form a rectangular box and the cuts that you have made in the step above line up.

Insert part B through the slits in the now joined parts A1 and A2 and check if it moves freely through the slits.

Attach the spoon to the servo motor and you have now completed the housing. The housing should look like the completed product without the Bolt device attached to it.

The completed housing would be enough to store treats for feeding a cat a couple of times in my design. You can increase the storage if your pet's appetite is voracious.

Step 3: Connect the various components

The servo motor should have three wires coming out of it which may be Black(GND), Red(5V) and White(PWM input) in colour.

Connect the jumper cables from the Servo motor to the Bolt device in the fashion given below:

  • Bolt  device<-- --> Servo motor
  • 5V <-- -- Red Wire
  • GND <-- -- Black Wire
  • Digital Pin 0 -- --> White Wire

For further clarity, refer to the Fritzing diagram.

 

 

Step 4: Write codes

Create a new product on the Bolt Cloud as GPIO OUTPUT.

Click on the configure button, and add the following code to the code section of the product.


function open_door(){
servoWrite(0,60);
}

function close_door(){
servoWrite(0,0);
}

function dispense_treat(){
console.log("Dispensing Treat");
open_door();
setTimeout(close_door,2000);
console.log("Dispensed Treat");
}

singleButton({ name : "Feed Pet", action :"dispense_treat"});
 

Do remember to name the code, and select the code type as JS.

Save the product, and link your device to the product.

NOTE: If the individual steps mentioned above are not understandable, click here , to find out detailed explanations on how to carry out the steps.

Code Explanation:

The above code has 3 functions which do the following:

  • open_door : The function makes a call to the servoWrite API, via the boltCommands.js library. The passed parameters tell the Bolt WiFi module, to set the servo motor connected to the pin 0 to an angle of 60 degrees. This angle opens the pet feeder, to dispense the treats.
  • close_door : The function makes a call to the servoWrite API, via the boltCommands.js library. The passed parameters tell the Bolt WiFi module, to set the servo motor connected to the pin 0 to an angle of 0 degrees. This angle closes the pet feeder, stopping the treats from falling.
  • dispense_treat: This function calls the open_door and close_door functions in succession, with a time difference of 2 seconds (2000 milli seconds). This causes the pet feeder to open and then close after 2 seconds.

The code ten uses the quick buttons facility of the Bolt Cloud (documented here) to add a button to your device view, and link the button the to dispense_treat function. So when you click on the button, the pet_feeder dispenses the treat.

servo motor feeder pets