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!
"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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