I’m brand new here and have never attempted to build anything like this before, so I’m probably in over my head, and any advice/info would be greatly appreciated!
First, let me explain my idea. I want to build an automated dog feeder for my 2 dogs. I want the feeder to only be active after 6:00 am and again after 6:00 pm. I want each dog to be able to initiate the dispensing of food using a RFID tag, and once they activate their food, the machine will not allow them to activate it again until the next time is reached (either 6:00 am or 6:00 pm). My idea is to build a hopper to hold the dog food with 2 sliding doors in the bottom of the hopper. Each door will drop food into a ramp leading to a different food bowl and the sliding door will be opened/closed by a linear actuator. The opening of the actuator will be triggered by the RFID tag (as long as the above specified time has been reached) and the closing of the actuator will be triggered by a weight sensor under the bowl so I can control how much food is dispensed. I know this will take some trial and error to account for the amount of time it takes to close the door and the amount of food that is still sliding down the ramp.
I’m not really sure how to accomplish all of this and don’t know if there is a mechanical solution or if I will need to be able to write code for an Arduino, Raspberry Pi, or maybe both. Also, if anyone has a simpler way to accomplish what I want to do, I’m open to that too.
Thanks in advance,