Kitty Treat Machine


#1

My cat MIDI was mad that I wasn’t using the new Glowforge to make anything for her, so over the holiday break I made a kitty treat machine.

To prove the concept would work, I started with a cardboard version made by hand.
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It uses an old Xbox360 joystick component as her lever, and an arduino and servo dispense the treat. Whenever the lever is pulled in any direction, a treat is dumped into the tray

I used this project as a reason to learn Fusion 360, and I spent a lot of time making tabs (they’ve gotta make it easy to automate this!)

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MIDI loves her new toy, and wants to know when she gets to pwn the neightbor cat at Street Fighter =^.^=


Kitty Pinball Machine
#2

Very creative. :+1::sunglasses:


#3

This is so cool! Great design and the kitty is so cute!!!


#4

I love this project!!!


#5

Would you mind sharing the details of the mechanism used to dispense the treat?

BTW, here is a similar project I did for my cat:

Part 1: https://youtu.be/KexCIS8uCzU
Part 2: https://youtu.be/Ua2BANU7uzA

I don’t think I show it in those videos, but I added a feature to count the treats as they hit the bowl, and then cut off dispensing once a target number has been reached. It uses a piezo-electric element and some small analog circuit to create a digital signal that the RPi can detect.

The cat has since died, so currently this project is on a shelf in my garage. We are getting a puppy tomorrow, though, so I was thinking of resurrecting the project.


#6

Awww! That’s incredible! Can’t let my babies see that or there will be a kitty revolution around here! :smile:


#7

Also, I feel obligated to add: our vet told us that those treats are not very good for the cat, so moderation is key here.


#8

Have you been through the tutorials here? I show a way to do box joints that is quite easy.


#9

Congratulations. From all of the puppies and dogs we’ve had, I’m thinking tear off the lever and then eat through the side of it to get to the treats. It works just as well.


#10

THanks -will have to poke around and learn the ways :slight_smile:


#11

I gotta take some pics when I get home - it’s a super simple mechanism.

It’s a manual load machine - I put one treat into the loading hole, which falls into a bottle cap attached to a servo horn.

The dispensing is also dumb simple - when the lever is pulled in any direction, the arduino makes the servo turn, which dumps the treat out of the bottle cap onto the ramp and slides down into the tray.


#12

If I made this, my beasts would empty it in minutes.


#13

If my cat only liked treats, any treats at all, this would be sweet.


#14

Thanks, yeah - I think a dog would probably get into that wooden enclosure.


#15

Ah, ok. I was thinking it was a self-feeding mechanism. The reason I asked is that I spent a bunch of time trying to come up with a mechanism to dispense a single cat treat from a hopper containing many of them. I kept running into issues with the cat treats jamming the mechanism. They are pillow shaped, with sharp corners that tend to catch. So I thought maybe you had come up with some clever way around this.


#16

Same here. My cats will not eat treats or even people food. Just their Fancy Feast and dry crunchies. Weirdos.


#17

This might help setting up parametrics for auto tabs…sort of.


#18

If it is single load treat at a time, that would work with my beastles.


#19

Good helpful tips! Thank you!


#20

Yeah, I’ve experimented a bit in the past with hoppers and dispensing a single treat, and I didn’t want to tackle that tricky problem for this quick project!

Love your project - looks really well made and robust!