It took some effort on Millam’s part, first he had to invent and create the genius feeding machine and then he had another hurdle to hop over… teaching his cat Monkey how to use it. Millam taught Monkey how to find little plastic balls hidden around the house and place them inside of the feeding machine using ‘clicker’ training methods, including the use of a distinct clicking sounds and rewards.
According to Millam, “The Arduino cat feeder was easier to program than Monkey was.”
The machine is programed to recognize the RFID-tagged balls and when detected will immediately fill up with cat treats. It wasn’t success at first try, but Monkey and Millam were both good sports about it, and in the end it worked!
On the hunt for food… or rather plastic balls.
If you plan to teach your cat the same trick at home be careful what type of plastic ball you use, many plastics contain toxic levels of chemicals that could be harmful to your kitty. If this concerns you, you might be better off using a different material entirely.
Watch the full video of Monkey the cat hunting for his dinner:
Photo Credits: benjaminmillam.com