Dog Boss

Hi guys

I'm starting a project early for college in September. To give some background on myself, I'm a mature student from Ireland and I've spent the last ten years working in the electronics industry. My course of study is a bachelors in electronic systems.

The idea for the project in a fairly rough idea, automate the feeding and watering of my dog. I'd also like to open and close a gate which leads from dog pen to main garden. A few other unrelated bits and bobs in the garden such as a webcam and stimuli for the dog.

At this point I am doing some research and picking up some of the equipment I may need. I have already purchased an arduino plus an arduino ethernet shield. I'm hoping to control the system by android.

My questions are general, is this viable? if so can somebody recommend what to use as a server to control this. I'm assuming some kind of cloud system. "BLYNK"

I'd be happy to hear any and all suggestions or critiques.

Cheers folks

edycla: ...the feeding and watering of my dog. I'd also like to open and close a gate which leads from dog pen to main garden. A few other unrelated bits and bobs in the garden such as a webcam and stimuli for the dog.

..I have already purchased an arduino plus an arduino ethernet shield. I'm hoping to control the system by android.

Arduino uno and ethernet shield are ok. With those you can open and close the gate, automate the feeding and watering.

It is possible to control the system by Android, your Arduino can be programmed as a REST API (if you don't know this concept google it) and respond to the android app (You'll have to program an android app too, there's the App inventor if you do not want to get involved with coding).

The webcam must be an ip cam connected to your home's router (it works by itself, not with Arduino because it'ss not powerfull enough to handle a webcam). You can have access to this ip cam in your browser or in your android app if you want too.

Please do not cross-post. Other thread removed.

I thought the whole purpose of having a dog was to encourage and facilitate human-animal interaction - not to be a basis for designing another Tamagotchi toy.

Dog owners are avid anthropomorhpizers. But thinking dogs are interested in Arduinos is a step too far.

...R.

Robin2 I think the same but I think op wants to automate this things just when he is absent home. I work and Id like to monitor my dog too when Im away.

If he meant this for 24/7 then it would be another tamagochi and would be wrong.

mart256: Robin2 I think the same but I think op wants to automate this things just when he is absent home.

I do understand, but I would not wish to own a dog if I were absent for so long that it would miss its meals.

I can't afford a dog (or cat) now although we always had a cat when the children were young.

...R

Why hasn't someone come up with a pet internet interface and Animal Facebook ?

I like that idea for animal Facebook. Perhaps it could have a tree-trunk-shaped user interface for the dogs, and finally Facebook will be useful for something.

This is an exercise in demonstrating automation not animal cruelty. I work shifts so I like the idea of being able to monitor my pet when I'm at work.

Feeding the dog and checking that she has sufficient water when I'm on a 12 hour shift is my objective. My wife is always at home to care for our family including our hairy little messed. I appreciate the concerns but they are unnecessary.

Returning to topic. I have designed a bulk storage container which is split into two.This sits inside the entrance to kennel and is mounted above both bowls for food and water.

I am trying to figure out a way to control the caps which open to dispense contents. A servo or actuator. I don't know which are best controlled by arduino.

Servos are pretty easy to control. Most people run into trouble supplying power to the servo. It requires a separate supply for the current peaks.

"Actuator" usually implies a more powerful motor than the average model-airplane-rudder servo but it also implies doing your own feedback and PID control loop. Good fun to play with but maybe not where you want to spend your time. Get a bigger/stronger servo instead.

A powerful servo it is so, I plan on running mains power out the back and stepping the voltage down as required.

How do novices generally program their Arduino, I have a few semesters of C programming under my belt but I'm hearing from friends that 'flow code' is a cleaner and more straight forward option.

I have been watching the Web, eBay, aliexpress and the like for random items for this. How do you guys go about sourcing components.

Thought OP might be interested in this:

Dog Tracker Knows Where The Dirt Is

...yep.

:D

edycla: I have been watching the Web, eBay, aliexpress and the like for random items for this. How do you guys go about sourcing components.

As long as you don't mind the 2 to 6 weeks wait for delivery, AliExpress, DirectExtreme, and BangGood (all in China) are cheap and quite good. Many of the same Chinese sellers also use eBay. For 'must have right now' items, I use Maplins. They are expensive, don't have a large range and I don't know if they have branches in Ireland.

I have been watching the Web, eBay, aliexpress and the like for random items for this. How do you guys go about sourcing components.

As long as you don’t mind the 2 to 6 weeks wait for delivery, AliExpress, DirectExtreme, and BangGood (all in China) are cheap and quite good. Many of the same Chinese sellers also use eBay.

I’ll second that. I haven’t used aliExpress but I have used Bangood, Tayda, Adafruit, Futurlec, Sparkfun and of course ebay. I found that you can save a significant amount of money if you’re willing to wait a few weeks for delivery. I was shopping for some beefy TO220 heatsinks and found that most of the ones that were easy to find were the thin flat heatsinks and not the ones like this. The prices for these heavy duty heatsinks were in the range of 1 to 3 dollars (US) until I found something very similar from futurlec for $ 0.40. I bought a dozen. that’s the key to saving money. Take your time to find the right source and then buy in bulk. (like a dozen ATmega328s with Optiboot bootloader from DIPMICRO for $5 each. Every time I want to make an arduino circuit I use the chips on a breadboard. I use my several UNO R3s for projects that I need to be portable.

With a few semesters of C code then you will fit right in with the Arduino crowd. Any C++ in that? It can make a big difference to programming the Arduino if you understand a little about classes.

It does feel a little confined when you don’t have access to ‘usual’ C constructs like printf() but remember all the C libraries are available to be included into any Arduino program. Just don’t use capital-S Strings. They will consume all your memory in record time.