Final Project Initial Design

For my (potential) final project, I wanted to make something that would solve one of my everyday problems. Of course, this problem revolves around my cat Rupert. Rupert is quite a greedy scoundrel and will often torment the other cat who lives near us, Evie, by eating her food before she can have a bite. This leads to malnutrition of Evie and a fat Rupert, neither outcome is good. The constraint, however, is that both cats are free to roam around the hall during the day when I am not around to babysit. I wanted to make something that would allow both cats their continued freedom as well as avoiding getting reprimanded by the vet for letting Rupert become obese. The solution: a selective cat bowl.

Basically, the bowl would be selective through a sensor, possibly an RFID, that would recognize which cat was in it's vicinity. If Rupert were to try to steal food, the bowl would remain closed and would yell (in my voice of course) "No Rupert!". In a more complex version, the bowl would be equipped with a squirt bottle nozzle which would give Rupert a spritz everytime he came near it. Both Rupert and Evie would have a special collar with an RFID in it so that when Evie tried to eat the bowl would open at her convenience.

My preliminary sketches led to the first rendition model of the cat bowl. It has the same profile as any pet bowl you would find in the store. At the bottom would be a reservoir of water which would be pumped through the squirt bottle nozzle. Ideally it would be easily refilled. The lid of the bowl would be on an automatic hinge which would open upon the correct input from the RFID sensor.

After trying for some time to use Antimony, I decided for a faster process that I would finish my modelling in Rhino. (I plan to keep experimenting with Antimony over the weeks to get a better workflow). I put together some 2D drawings and some 3D renderings of the first iteration of my design.

Now, I still don't know what I will be capable of making by the end of this course so I decided to have a more ambitious design. The second iteration includes a water bowl that would continuously refill from the fish-shaped water reservoir. Moreover, the reservoir would also serve as the water source for the squirt bottle nozzle. I haven't quite decided on all the different tools and processes that will be integrated in this project, but I think there's a lot of potential to use many of the processes we'll be learning this semester. Until then, I'll have to manually extract Rupert from Evie's food bowl. For the time being I may have to construst a kitty treadmill.

Tools used this week: Sketching, Rhino, Antimony