An open source Raspberry Pi-powered pet feeding machine has been built using open technologies and platforms from the start.
Electronic treat dispenser
The PetBot is intended to enable "interaction" with a domestic pet while the user is away from home via a set of technologies including a remote controlled webcam, image recognition and treat dispenser.
NOTE: The Raspberry Pi is a small, single-board computer developed for computer science education -- about the size of a credit card, the units has a 32-bit ARM processor and uses a Fedora distribution of Linux for its default operating system (OS).
The PetBot is just a few inches tall and is almost a third of the way to the £12,500 the project is currently looking for on its Kickstarter campaign.
According to the project website, "PetBot evolved out of the common worry that owners have over the welfare of their pet while away from home. After over fifty prototypes, in which we experimented with various materials and technologies, we at the PetBot team have a creation ready to be shared."
The project says it believes that PetBot is the best product currently available for "remote pet-human relations" technology.
PetBot is built with a webcam at the front to enable the user to detect and observe when the animal (cat, dog or other?) is in front of the device.
The user is then able to further control the camera in the device to help track the pet and subsequently dispense food-based treats (in two sizes!) to the animal.
PetBot is not thought to be capable of cleaning up doggy doo-doo or emptying cat litter trays, it's extended use with goldfish, Chihuahuas and other exotic pets has not been reported on at this time.