Hacked Gadgets Forum

December 1, 2009

Internet Enabled Cat Feeder

at 12:39 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Computer Hacks, Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Funny Hacks


If you are on the road or at the office and just remembered that you forgot to feed the cats what do you do? Drive home and feed them right? Well if you are Mathew Newton you can use your phone or your work computer to feed the animals. This Internet Enabled Cat Feeder project would have been a good addition to the contest that Cisco was running a while back!

Via: TechEBlog

"In order to facilitate remote control of the dispenser (i.e. to allow user-driven operation rather than leaving it to a timer and the associated drawbacks this could create) I had to somehow connect the motor directly to the network, or a locally-sited PC. I dropped the latter idea because I didn’t really want a dedicated PC sat alongside it… particularly in the kitchen. (Okay, I admit, I would’ve been quite happy but my girlfriend on the other hand…!) Besides which, before this cat feeder project came charging in I was (and indeed still am because of this!) in the final stages of studying for the Cisco CCNA qualification and whilst sat there wondering why mutli-channel Ethernet relays cost so much (e.g. this one for £249) it dawned on me that if I could tap in to the port status LEDs on an old Cisco switch then I’d have a multi-port network-enabled relay interface for next to nothing! "


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20 Responses to “Internet Enabled Cat Feeder”

  1. Dave Says:

    Some time ago there was a guy who made a relay switch with a print server. Think his name was doctor Andy or something. That would have been an easy/cheap solution too. 🙂

  2. Lukke Says:

    could somebody make a cat enabled internet feeder?

  3. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hi Lukke,

    This is the closest there is. 🙂

  4. arni Says:


    8 ins (4 binary, 4 analogue) 8 outs – all controllable through a very simple newline based TCP/IP protocol

    all for just 28€

  5. Berni Says:

    Well thats a very inventive use for a switch i must say.

    Why are those ethernet relay boards so expensive anyway? They don’t seam to contain anything else than a MCU, ethernet chip and a few relays.

  6. Mike Says:

    I like the idea of just usind the LEDs to trigger something! great job!!


  7. FrostedButts Says:

    Amazing. Good job.

  8. Fry-kun Says:

    too bad these don’t mesh well with raw meat or I would’ve built one for my cat too

  9. FrostedButts Says:

    you never know, if the meat is cubed and you refrigerate the unit… could work.

  10. Scott Says:

    Great idea – I’d like to see more description on the mechanical components (the multiblade paddle used in conjunction with the drive motor, feed tube, chutes, etc.). Were these taken from an existing timed feeder?

    Also, what about using a phototransistor glued to the LED directly (in effect creating an optical relay) rather than tapping into the wiring?

  11. GPS Vehicle Recovery Says:

    Very innovative!

  12. Dual Monitor Says:

    OMG, I have to get one of these since I have 12 Cats! Plus I’m always on the internet…lol.

  13. Murfreesboro TN Homes Says:

    SOOO Cute!! Useful too!

  14. Wayne D. Says:

    This is one of the nicest pet food dispensers I have seen in a while. It looks very close to finished.

  15. multiple monitor Says:

    Retail price??

  16. 物联网已成现实,Cisco自动喂猫机 | 鸸鹋动物园 Says:

    […] 现在这有个基于互联网的宠物食物自动投递机被英国人搞出来了,而且相当高档,使用Cisco交换机控制食量,而且还可以实时的通过移动设备终端查看视频画面!(via) […]

  17. Internet enabled cat feeder - Hack a Day Says:

    […] [via Hackedgadgets] […]

  18. johnF Says:

    Blatant Plug (but true)

    I’ve got 2 problem cats, and worked a long time to get a feeder working good. If anybody wants to copy it, I’ll give ’em some info. It’s made out of stuff around the house (mostly wood) and uses a motor from Mouser. Send me an email if you want more information, or tips on how to build your own. It’s got very few parts, and has been feeding my cats every day for well over a year without any problems.

    If you can make parts on a table saw or etc. out of any wood, you shouldn’t have any trouble making one. This is like, a real cat feeder, works great, it’s a product I’m starting to sell, but I’m a hacker too, and if you want to copy it, ok, let me know and I can send you any parts you can’t get at local stores, and help you make the rest.


  19. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hi John,

    Looks like an interesting design. I am curious what type of motor it uses. Is it a stepper motor? Using a home made controller or is it something industrial?

  20. Smartphone controlled Remote Dog Feeder powered by the Avnet Spartan-6 LX9 - Hacked Gadgets – DIY Tech Blog Says:

    […] have seen some other automatic pet feeders in the past. If you are hooked on this one and want to give it a […]

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