Many moons ago, I made a dual-cat feeder, using stepper motors and an Arduino. It had a lot of flaws.
- It was made out of a repurposed cat-litter container and was therefore very ugly.
- The cats discovered that if they picked it up with their claws and dropped it, they could shake food out of it.
- I knew very little about design, so it was very difficult to assemble and maintain.
- I knew very little about power, so it would shut itself off after each feeding, probably because of a overpower situation.
- I knew very little about components, so I used the suboptimal ones in many cases, like giant butt splices instead of solder sleeves.
- Most seriously, the stepper motors would melt and fail after a few days of operation, presumably due to poor quality controllers or incorrect implementation on my part.
I scrapped the project before a big move, but have been wanting to apply the lessons learned from that project to a new and improved cat feeder.
The requirements for this cat feeder are as follows:
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Secure - not vulnerable to my cats robbing it anytime they want a snack
- Configurable remotely via network (Wifi)
- Solid construction
- Ease of maintenance
- Low food warning
- Food capacity for two weeks or more
- Painless food refilling process
- High reliability