After struggling to keep the original design working, I finally decided to redesign the drive system of the feeder. This allowed me to consolidate the control system as well. The result is smaller footprint and a more reliable feeder.
I took a few months off from needing to do much work on the home automation system. A new job has quenched my desire to work on things I actually enjoy. After the break, I have started focusing now on improving existing pieces of my home automation setup. One of the cooler little projects I just finished was creating an enclosure for the remote temperature sensor in the bedroom. It has a tiny little 8×8 led matrix and looks pretty sweet (if you ignore the janky looking wire).
As I predicted in the previous cat feeder post, version 2.0 did not last very long. After getting the 3d printer, designing a new cat feeder became priority one. Keep on reading for the details.
After years of thinking it would be cool to have a 3d printer but not seriously considering it, I finally caved. I did some research and decided a prusa i3 kit or something similar would be the best way to go. It became clear in my research that it was worth it to spend a little more on a kit that came with better materials and from a company with a good reputation. After I decided on the Makerfarm Pegasus 8″ kit, I found out that the company was based 20 minutes from my house. I got the kit with upgraded metal heated bed, metal motor mounts and graphical LCD screen. Read on for my full build description and reaction after using it for a couple of months! [also here is a link to my thingiverse page!]
Last year, Oscar the cat started waking me up between 5 and 6 to feed him. As all cat owners know, you can’t just close the door and be done with it. The cat will find a way to bother you until he gets what he wants. Well if he wants food at 5am, a robot can give it to him. A robot made out of legos and garbage. Read on to see how the automatic cat feeder works, including a video and my mods to make it feed two cats.
The thermostat became my target of smartification almost a year ago. I built a working prototype at the time, but because of the move and it being cold outside for the past few months, I have held off installing it for good. This past weekend, I finally got it on the wall. It does everything a standard home thermostat can do, but it is also integrated into the rest of the home automation system which allows it to be controlled and monitored remotely. It also employs some of the smart features you would see on a nest thermostat.
I have always used the cat and turtles as catalysts for different projects. I thought this would be a good one because I hadn’t done much with the raspberry pi camera that I had, and I also wanted to work on using the GPIO pins on the raspberry pi to read sensor data. This was another good project to practice writing code in python on the pi. The concept: detect the cat, take his picture, tweet his picture (@KookieHouse). Continue reading The Oscar Detector