Cats, especially for their queer habits and the difficulty encountered in training them as opposed to dogs, are one of the toughest pets to have. One of the commonest habits cats usually have is that of drinking fresh water directly from the tap. However, this is not a big issue. The real issue is ingraining in them the habit to turn off the faucet after use. No doubt, it’s a seemingly impossible task! However, from his own experience of having a feline pet, Chris Dillon recently designed a home automation project for the very same reason. His innovative automated faucet involving an infrared sensor was designed to automatically power on/off the faucet depending on his pet’s water requirements.
This innovative project was basically designed around a solenoid and incorporated an infrared sensor, Arduino in addition to a tight fitting rail system with a servo. The assembly was so designed that it could sense the cat’s presence near the faucet and accordingly operate the sink handle with its residual power. In addition to this hardware set-up, Chris also added a data logging PC, which was connected to a Linux server via Xbee modules, with the resultant automation product. It doesn’t just operate the faucet but also provides a time based data of the feline’s water usage habits being fed into a MongoDB database.
No doubt, those not owning cats would definitely wonder at the futility of this project, but then the essence of this innovation can only be understood by feline lovers. And yes, you cannot deny the fact that simple as it seems, this project has definitely laid down an excellent groundwork for future home automation projects.