UPDATE: I’ve gone and updated this project to make it much more simple. Check out this update at https://protomaker.space/updated-iot-dog-sensor-adafruit-io/
Finally, a practical electronics project. I took some of the pieces from the Adafruit 003 and 004 Adaboxes and make a system that allows the dog to ring the bells at our back door and we’ll get an alert in our bedroom (for those nighttime accidents).
My wife and I trained our dog to ring a set of bells at the back door when she needed to go outside. Problem was when we moved to a smaller place and let her have free run at night, the sound of the bells just wasn’t loud enough to wake us up at night, and we had a few accidents. So I decided to make something that’s a little louder and doesn’t get set off when our cats are just walking around at night (i.e. no proximity sensors).
This ended up having 3 parts to it: a sensor by the door to tell when the dog needs to go out, another board to act as a receiver and play a message, and a small web app to act as a go between the two feather huzzah boards.
The sensor by the door hangs from the set of bells she already uses. It uses the Adafruit LIS3DH accelerometer to detect when she bumps it with her nose (took a lot of trial and error to get it to trigger easily but not go off randomly). If it detects a bump, it makes an http request to my web app.
On my night stand, I’ve got the board / speaker from Adabox 004 setup. Every 5 seconds it does an http request and pings my little web app to see if there’s been a hit at the back door it hasn’t read. If there is, is plays track001.mp3 which is a recording of “Kona needs to go outside” that loops a few times, and lets the web app know to mark that entry as “read” so it won’t do it again. I could’ve just only stored one “hit” at a time, but I figured it’d be interesting to go back and view old data. Since it was going to be hanging out on my nightstand, this one also got a nice 3d printed case to house it as well.
I was flattered to see that the folks over at Adafruit thought the project was cool enough to feature on their blog! You can check that out over at https://blog.adafruit.com/2017/10/17/dog-door-sensor-built-with-adabox-003-004-components/.