Inspired by her 2 cats, Rachel set herself a challenge this year: making an automated feeder for her feline companions using technologies she’d never used before. Robokitty is a combination of Node.js, Socket.io, Johnny Five, and Photon, the WiFi board from Particle (formerly Spark). It took a total of 2 weeks to complete (over the course of 2 months).
The hardest part was I’d never worked with any of the technologies before, so everything was new to me. Especially the hardware.
To activate the dispenser, you can either set a timer or press a button. Rachel is already considering improvements, such as having it standalone, rather than plugged into a computer; and maybe add a camera to monitor the cats.
The project has been very well received on GitHub, gathering over 600 stars, shortly after publishing. In true making spirit, the Readme offers a detailed explanation of how to set up your own. Robokitty was the perfect way for this new maker to contribute to OpenSource for the first time; but we’re convinced it was just an excuse to make more cat GIFs!