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meow!

meow! is a IoT Amazon Echo enabled Cat Feeder for tidbits (treats). Best used while you are tired of tickling your Cat(s). Made with ♡.

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Why 'meow!'?

So, there is this Girl and those two super sweet Tuna-Rockets aka 'Captain' and 'Princess'.
You see - it starts like a fairy tale... But seriously it isn't a fairy tale at all - some bad things
were happening BUT this Girl and her Cats are still what I want and looking for in my Life.

Because I love both (the Girl and the Cats) and i ever wanted to build something useful that interact and connect both in a 'nerdy' way, I started to build a Cat-Feeder that does not only spit some tidbits out if you push a simple button.
I wanted to have it all. WiFi, Speech integration via Amazon Echo, Web interface and the
last but not least the “simple button”. And all of this should be easy to install (WiFi credentials) and in a nice 3D printed case to please the eyes.

I will update the Project Details over the next few weeks to show you what i already did.


I'am still looking for useful additions to the Project. Please write in the comments section if you have some nice ideas.

---

Features:

  • WiFi ✔
  • Web Interface ✔
  • Amazon Echo integration ✔
  • Easy to install and use ✔
  • Offline useable ✔
  • Sound (could be helpfull for blind ppl) ✔

This project is mostly a mashup of some usefull librarys for the ESP8622. I used a NodeMCU 1.1 to have WiFi directly on Board. The Power of the ESP8622 is more than enough for this project.

Used Librarys:

#include <FS.h> (Built-In)
#include <ESP8266mDNS.h> (Built-In)
#include <DNSServer.h> (Built-In)
#include <ESP8266WebServer.h> (Built-In)
#include <WiFiManager.h> GitHub
#include <Servo.h> (Built-In)
#include <Bounce2.h> GitHub
#include <fauxmoESP.h> GitHub

Beside of only using the Libs i had to add some callbacks and other stuff to get it working, the way i wanted.


  • 1 × NodeMCU / ESP8266 An open-source firmware and development kit that helps you to prototype your IOT product.
  • 2 × Servo or Stepper Motor to drive the filling Auger.
  • 1 × Touch Button to recognize touches through the 3D printed Case.
  • 1 × 3D Printer to print the Case.
  • 1 × some Cables no project without cabling.

View all 7 components

  • Adding Sound and it will guide you thru the initial Setup.

    Chrischi04/26/2017 at 18:57 0 comments

    Recently i came about the idea of adding Sound to meow! because no one besides of me would ever know how to set up meow!

    To get it fully working i added a callback to the fauxmoESP Library to see if meow! is discovered and to play the right sound file.

    The Steps are:

    1. Welcome and Instructions

    2. Setup complete - Trying to connect to the WiFi.

    3. WiFi connected

    4. Trying to help the User, saying "Alexa, search Smarthome-Devices"

    5. If No 4 fails, Instruct the User what to do.

    6. Setup complete + Instructions what the URL is and that there is also a Touch Button on the meow! Surface.

    Sorry Guys, it's currently only in German, but I want to add English in the near future. I thought about checking the Geo-location via IP and after that "meow!" will decide which language to use.

    Later (after Setup) in the Settings Menu you could change the Interface and spoken language.

    Maybe I will add "meowish" to it as Easter-egg. ;-)

    See it in Action (Speaker ON!):

  • WiFi Credentials Setup

    Chrischi03/22/2017 at 16:51 0 comments

    I used WiFi Manager to implement the WiFi Credentials Setup to meow!

    meow! looks if the already saved WiFi Credentials are matching the current available WiFi Network and will connect directly to it. If the credentials didn't match or a new WiFi is available, meow! will start in Setup Mode. A AP is startet and broadcasts "meow! Setup!" as SSID. You can connect to this WiFi and a Splash-Page will let you assign new WiFi credentials to meow!.

    So, anyone with a WiFi enabled device can integrate / assign meow! to the local network.
    (To reset the WiFi credentials, you could use the 'undocumented' ;-) reset URL http://meow.local/resetwifi and the device will reset and restart in ,meow! Setup' mode.

    Because a (moving) picture is worth a thousand words:


  • Webinterface - Demo

    Chrischi03/21/2017 at 22:34 0 comments

    Demo of the meow! Webinterface.

  • Amazon Echo integration.

    Chrischi03/21/2017 at 15:35 0 comments

    Here is a Video of the final Amazon Echo Integration.

    I will tell you some time later how i did it.

  • Webinterface

    Chrischi03/20/2017 at 16:56 1 comment

    Web Interface of meow! The Cat is a animated gif that meows some hearts.
    (I have to dig later through the Internet for the gif Credits)

    Web Interface of meow! while distributing some treats:

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Discussions

lordbubba88 wrote 07/18/2017 at 06:08 point

Awesome Project!!  I am trying to use Wifi Manager also to get the credentials for connecting to the network for Alexa.  I am not the best programmer and am hitting errors with ESPAsyncWebServer.  Any chance you'd be willing to post some code?

Thanks!!

Chris

  Are you sure? yes | no

Martin wrote 04/27/2017 at 11:33 point

Nice project per se - without the need for a connection to external servers. But I would not accept (or could use) a cat feeder (or other device) which requires a Spy device like Amazon Echo. I don't have and don't want cloud connected IoT device. Luckily I have trusty neighbors which look after my cats if I am on travel.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Chrischi wrote 04/27/2017 at 11:40 point

Good view of a typical IoT Problem and thats why the whole thing works also without connection to the outside. The whole project incl. Amazon Echo etc. is in general only a "nice to have". 

It never could replace the meaning of giving the treats out of my own hands.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Mark wrote 03/21/2017 at 17:01 point

Humble suggestion... add a honking big button to trigger a treat release and observe your cats as they figure out how to work it.  

  Are you sure? yes | no

Chrischi wrote 03/21/2017 at 21:35 point

Nice suggestion!

Exactly that's what i was thinking about as a "add-on" to this project.

A ESP8266 powered Button / small toy that can sit or hide anyway around the flat and triggers the "meow!".

  Are you sure? yes | no

Ryan Knutson wrote 04/25/2017 at 16:08 point

And even better -- add a camera :)

  Are you sure? yes | no

Chrischi wrote 04/26/2017 at 19:29 point

I was also thinking about that. Taking a photo while the Cat / Cats are detected around the device and pushing it to the Web-IF.

I will add that to my "Add-On" List.

  Are you sure? yes | no

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