For busy people with unpredictable schedules, keeping one’s feline friend fed in a timely manner can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are automatic cat food dispensers available, or you can even build one yourself.
Open Electronics’ 3D-printed device, called “FelixMatic,” claims to be more complex and complete than average off-the-shelf solutions. Not only can it be programmed to supply up to nine meals a day using a spiral-action rotary feeder, but it also measures food levels with a load cell for dispensing feedback.
Control is via an Arduino Uno along with an RTC shield for meal timing, while the user interface consists of an LCD display and five buttons.
Having a pet involves big responsibilities, first of all granting them food; unfortunately, a hectic lifestyle and imposed work hours do not go hand-in-hand with the needs of our four-legged friends, and surely anyone living on their own will have a hard time providing the pets meals on schedule. In order to solve a problem that is surely dear to any pet owner, and especially cat and dog owners, we have designed a device we called FelixMatic: it is a practical automatic dispenser of dry food for cats (or small dogs) equipped with a high-capacity container that can easily be opened from the top and a bowl to collect the kibble when it is supplied. We know we can already find automatic dispensers on the market, however, our example is unique because it can be programmed with 9 meals a day in order to supply very precise quantities of dry food.
The way the dispenser works is more complex and complete than the average available product on the market, in fact, it does not only supply food but it also gives exact doses as decided by us; basically, at a preset time, a cochlea at the base of the container will turn, and drop a certain amount of kibble in the bowl, regulated by a dedicated weight sensor.