Automated Cat Flap

Hello everyone.
I’m writing you from France so please excuse me if my english isn’t perfect :stuck_out_tongue:
With my partners we were given a project which Is to create an automated cat flap with Arduino. We have already reflected on different aspects of our objet but none of us really know Arduino really well so we thought it could be interesting to ask for advices with you guys as you know much more than we do :slight_smile:

First it’s important to tell you that we have a budget of 150€/160$/140£.

The first question is about the transmitter/receiver assembly, we thought that we could use an electromagnetic type detection with a collar on the cat and a transmitter that once the signal received activate unlocking. Do you think this is possible ?

We are hesitating between two methods of locking/unlocking :

  • an electromagnet or a servo-type motor.
    Do you think that there’s one method better or simpler to code and create electronically and mechanically than the other ?

Is there an Arduino pack which could be helpful for us ?

Thanks to those who will take the time to read and help us.
Have a good day/evening :wink:

You could also ask in the French forum for more timely responses than might come from the US.

How do you keep the collar on the cat? Cats are notorious for getting out of anything.

Many cats are reluctant to push thru a flap. Raccoons on the other hand are not! I'd go with a simple door in a set of tracks (or on rails) that can simply be pulled up and then lowered once the cat has made its mind up to go thru.

Maybe an RFID 'tag' on the cat with a scanner to pick it up once the cat got close enough.

The cat is gonna love carting around a arduino/radio/battery on it’s collar.
Look into RFID for the collar element.

solenoid or electro magnet will use a lot of power. servo would be better. all will work.

Tough to train cat to listen for unlocking noise/signal. Better to open flap when cat is in range of detector.

crossroads beat me to it, sorry.

We've got a cat flap that reads the RFID chip in the cat's neck. No need for a collar or anything else around it's neck.
As soon as the cat puts its head into the cat flap opening, the RFID chip is read, and if accepted, a small solenoid is pulled down to allow the flap to open.