Automatic Cat Feeder

Posted on August 23, 2006  Comments (4)

Automatic Cat Feeder

The Automatic Cat Feeder:

As I dug around this box, I found an old CD Rom drive and power supply. The thought struck me that I could use the ejecting tray of the CD Rom as a solenoid to push the trigger mechanism of some sort of physical contraption. But then I had a bootstrapping problem – what can I use to push the eject button of the CD Rom on schedule?

After some more thought, I realized that I could just use my spare (working) computer as the basis of the cat feeder. It’s also my home’s Subversion source control server – a rare mix of server workloads indeed! It has a CD Rom drive, so I could just use software to open and close it.

And water for the cat too:

Water flows out of the jug as long as the water level is below the hole at the bottom. When water flows out, the air pressure in jug decreases until it sucks in some air to equalize. When the water level covers the hole, though, the air pressure can no longer equalize, so the water flow stops.

When the cats drink the water level down a bit, the jug can once again equalize its air pressure, and lets more water out.

Don’t miss the video – Related: Engineering at Home

4 Responses to “Automatic Cat Feeder”

  1. CuriousCat: Awesome Cat Cam Project
    June 3rd, 2007 @ 4:52 pm

    This is my favorite home engineering project. The concept is great. The explanation of the technology is great. The adjustment to real life situations is great. The end result (the photos) is great. This wins the non-existent Curious Cat Cool Contraption award…

  2. CuriousCat: The Wonderful Life of a Cat
    November 13th, 2007 @ 8:00 pm

    The next morning, the 12-year-old cat can always be found in exactly the same place, on a pavement about one and a half miles (2.4km) away waiting to be driven home

  3. CuriousCat: Friday Cat Fun
    July 25th, 2008 @ 2:24 pm

    “Jennifer and Jim kept getting huge water bills, over $300 dollars. They knew beyond a doubt that the bills weren’t representative of actual usage…”

  4. Friday Fun: Cat Using the Doorbell » Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog
    November 4th, 2011 @ 4:33 am

    […] Automatic Cat Feeder – Curious Cat Hat – Friday Fun, Cat Parkour Posted by curiouscat Categories: […]

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