There are times when we forget to eat, or choose to eat too much throughout the day. Both habits can lead to health risk, so what if there was a way to keep our eating habits under control?
Let’s be clear, there are many ways to keep our eating habits from going off the rails, but technology might very well become the leading option in the near future. You see, it’s possible to create a device from scratch that is capable of monitoring your food intake, and attaching itself to your refrigerator.
The folks from The Verge has shown a step-by-step guide on how to create such a device. The end product looks like a cat, but you don’t have to go that route with the design if you’re not into cats.
Set your eating times
For the gadget to automatically alert the user on when to eat, this task must be set manually. From there, whenever the time comes for eating, the little cat will make a frown face. Additionally, the more the user opens the fridge between mealtimes, the cat will mimic being full, and then annoyed.
Basically, that’s telling the user that he or she is eating too much and should slowdown on stuffing their face with food or whatever else.
We like the fact that the robot can be hooked up to IFTTT in order for it to send the owner email reminders on when to eat. Don’t want it to send emails? That’s fine because SMS is one of the supported platforms.
The following are all the tools required to create this little toy, via Christine Sunu from The Verge.
- Particle Photon
- Microservo (with 3.3 V operating voltage)
- Gyroscope (I used this accelerometer/gyroscope)
- M-F jumper wires
- F-F jumper wires
- Plastic spur gears, 1 ⅛ in diameter
- Screws to fit your spur gears (I used 10mm M2 screws)
- Screws for your servo, these usually come in a bag with your servo
- Screwdriver with attachment for the above, and a small Phillips head attachment for the microservo screws
- Bolts to fit your screws
- Tape or hot glue
- Magnets (I used ⅛ in tall neodymium magnets with a ½ in diameter)
- This 3D printed enclosure
Looking at all of these materials, then, it’s clear this project won’t be inexpensive, and will take some time to finish. It doesn’t take someone with a technical mind to build the robot cat, but you should at least be competent.
Overall, it’s a decent hack, but there are more practically ways to achieve your goals of eating properly. This right here is merely a side project that looks good on paper but limited in scope.