This group agreed that a benefit of electronic engineering is the ability to create gadgets that could carry out certain tasks for you. From this the group decided to design and build an Automatic Fish Feeder. It could be programmed to dispense the exact amount of food at the right times during each day. The fish would then be looked after even if the owner was away for a few days. The fish feeder could also be used by pet shops who have many tanks to look after each day.
Another attraction to this choice of project, was that it would require the development of many different skills, ranging from CAD/CAM to understanding gears and their ratios.
The final product turned out to quite sophisticated with several useful features. These included:
- The ability to program exactly how much fish food will be dispensed
- Adjustable to how many times per day the food will be dispensed
- A primer switch to ensure that food is carried all the way to the outlet when the unit is first filled
- A sensor and buzzer system to alert the user when the fish food is approaching empty, and a second sensor to warn when the food is completely empty
Two other interesting features built into the final product were:
- An LED that would flash above the feeding point. This was included to investigate if the fish would eventually learn that when the LED flashes, food will be delivered!
- A "demo" button was built-in, which was originally used to test the unit during its development stage
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