Now it's time to introduce your cat to this mysterious new box. The sound of the servo motor may be startling at first, but becomes normalized over time.
Many different designs for treat dispensers can be found on the internet, but all rely on the same principle of positive reinforcement, part of a larger branch of psychology known as Operant Conditioning.
The science of Operant Conditioning can produce dramatic changes in animal behavior by leveraging different reinforcing stimuli. This project, more than simply a fun way to occupy your pet, can also be used to powerfully influence your animal's behavior.
For ideas on other ways to put your treat dispensing box to use, projects like Josh Klein's crow vending machine, or Karen Pryor's book Don’t Shoot The Dog: The New Art of Teaching and Training provide fascinating examples of the potential power of positive reinforcement.