How smart is your cat?

This treat dispenser is an easy way to feed and entertain your cat when you're not at home. The box is triggered by a pad that detects a change in capacitance when touched. This makes it very sensitive to little paws, and can be easily repositioned it to make it easier or more challenging for your cat to trigger. 

This project uses readily accessible household materials and a handful of electronics to create an interactive toy that your cat (or dog) will enjoy. This treat dispenser can be a good way to exercise your kitty's brain or as a proxy measure of their feline IQ

Recommended electronics

1 x Circuit Playground Express
Circuit Playground Express is the perfect introduction to electronics and programming
1 x 3xAA holder with DC jack
Battery holder 3xAA batteries with 2.1mm DC jack
1 x USB cable - A/MicroB - 3ft
Standard A to micro-B USB cable
1 x CRICKIT for Circuit Playground Express
Creative Robotics and Interactive Construction Kit is an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express
The project can be done without a Crickit, by connecting the servo directly, but the crickit makes it a lot easier!
1 x Alkaline AA batteries - 3 pack
These batteries are good quality at a good price, and work fantastic with any of the kits or projects that use AAs
1 x Micro servo
This little servo can rotate approximately 180 degrees (90 in each direction). Works just like standard servos you're used to, but smaller.
1 x Flex PCB Material - Pyralux - 6" by 6" Square
1 oz of copper bonded to a sheet of polyamide for strength and flexibility. This material can be creased and bent and won't crack as easily as copper tape.
You can use tin foil instead of pyralux if you only have that, but it wont last as long!

Household materials

In addition to these electronics, you should also grab:

Read on to learn how to build your own!

This guide was first published on Sep 05, 2018. It was last updated on Jul 20, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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