As cats become more obese, tracking your cat’s weight is an important part of keeping them healthy. However, depending on your cat’s mood, a weight session can be anything from a routine task to a painful procedure. [Andy]Its cat Eli is one of those who dislikes weights, so to track his weight without drama. [Andy] Became creative and created an internet-connected weighting platform for his litter box.
The two pieces of MDF on the platform are separated by two load cells, which are attached to an ESP8266. ESP reads load cells and reports its results on the Adfruit Io platform via its WiFi connection, sending updates to it [Andy] Whenever the use of litter boxes is caught. The weight of the cat can be easily calculated by subtracting the weight of the unused litter box when it is used.
Getting reliable readings from the load cell was a bit of a challenge, as the measured weight fluctuated as the elliptical littered the box. A combination of waiting for readings to stabilize and using timeouts to eliminate the effects of short movements has resulted in reasonably stable measurements. The resolution was good enough to measure the difference in litter weight before and after use. We’re not sure what the practical value of knowing how much your cat pops up each time, but if you have the data, you can log it.
[Andy] The IoT also envisions the smart-home features of the litter box: for example, it can run an air purifier or send it to Rumba after heavy use. It’s not even the first Internet-connected litter box we’ve featured; We’ve seen one connected to the Thingspeak platform, as well as sending pop alerts via Twitter. If you are not around to clean up the mess, an automatic fume extractor may come in handy.