Help required... Apply within - Pi, Arduino and Automated Patio Doors

Hi there,

I'm a n00b here so go easy please! I've just moved into a new house and cannot fit a dog flap anywhere and in an effort to give my Dog some freedom and prevent accidents overnight I'm looking to automate the opening and closing of my patio doors using a Pi, an Arduino and a system of pulleys / rods. End goal is to put an RFID tag on "Busters" collar and when he triggers the RFID for say 10 seconds it'll open the door for 15 seconds, when he wants to come back inside all he has to do is wait by the back door for 10 seconds and the door will open again for 15 seconds. We're talking a movement of 3ft here as my wife and I will be using this door also with an RFID tag we'll put on a hook nearby or by using our iPhones to log on to a web server page hosted on the Pi.

It may sound a little far fetched but I think this project has legs. The trouble is I'm not having much luck wading through the tonnes of information online about the Arduino and all the different models / shields etc. I think I'll be OKish piecing together the code to get this thing working once I have the hardware ordered. Farnell UK would be my preferred retailer if you link to anything! 8) I'll be coding in Python.

Can someone put it in very simple terms for me as I have no background in electronics. When it comes to Computer hardware I'm better than most, but electronics are a new world that I want to explore... What sort of strength servo am I likely to need to pull and push a sliding patio door?

Any help is gratefully received. Thanks!

How do you get the dog to hold the tag close enough to a reader for it to be read? The reading distance is pretty small. I'm also not sure how you work out the ten seconds either. You'd have to figure out if the reader kept sending a tag id all the time it was in range.

I don't think a servo will be up to the task. A linear actuator might be better. Do you leave your patio doors unlocked at night, or will you need to unlock them too?

ok perhaps 10 seconds rfid trigger is a little unrealistic. i'll mount the reader in a specific place, at a specific height and the train the dog with beeps and stuff. that's easy.

linear actuator though, which sort? how would i go about working out the load the LA would be required to shift?

would a 'clunk click' gearbox work?

any help on which arduino hardware i should be looking at and how i'd interface it with the pi? (usb?)

Alexktz, did you ever get this to work? I want to do something similar with a RFID tag and a linear actuator to build a dog feeder. Any info you could give me on your build and code would be very much appreciated!!

Cloyd1980: Alexktz, did you ever get this to work? I want to do something similar with a RFID tag and a linear actuator to build a dog feeder. Any info you could give me on your build and code would be very much appreciated!!

if you look under the poster's name to the left, you'll notice it says Guest. And that was 8 years ago. It's highly unlikely that he/she is going to respond.

I’m on mobile and don’t see anywhere it says guest. Anyway, I knew it was a long shot, but he was going to do almost exactly what I want to do, but for a different application, so I figured I’d give it a shot and hope he got an email notification that he would read and respond to

What part(s) are you having issues with?

For your project… doesnt seem to need an RPi… does it? (why?)

The ‘dog feeder’ project has been done a million times over…

I’d suggest you search for some of these… and get a idea in your head on how you want YOURS to behave/work.

First things…

work out the mechanical aspects…

Hopper? dispener? auger?

You still have the same question as above… how do you get your pet to get CLOSE ENOUGH to the RFID reader? the distance for it to work is very small…

The rest is very basic 101 tutorials…

RFID
stepper or servo
code
etc…etc…