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Brazilian Students Create Intelligent Canine Feeder

Sesi de Cianorte's students have developed an RFID-enabled device that identifies each pet and provides food in the proper measure.
By Edson Perin
Mar 23, 2017

Anyone who has a dog, a cat or any other pet knows that a primary concern is to always be home at the right time to give that animal food. Any delay can hurt the animal or make it sick. With this in mind, a student at Colégio SESI de Cianorte suggested to his colleagues the creation of a machine that would feed animals automatically. The students researched radio frequency identification technology, which would allow for the individual identification of a particular animal—a dog, in this case—and the idea evolved into a project.

Thus was born the iPET intelligent feeder, which can determine which animal is near a trough and, provided that it is meal time, serve the right amount of feed, according to levels pre-set by that animal's owner. What's more, the device can inform the owner via smartphone that his or her pet is properly fed and has consumed water.

The student team that developed the iPET feeder
Following the project's conception, the development of the iPET has been carried out since 2013 by the 7th Connection team, comprising eight high school students and two technicians (teachers). One objective of the project is to compete in First Lego League (FLL), an international tournament staged in Brazil, promoted by toy manufacturer Lego.

The project generated technological demands that resulted in partnerships with the State University of Maringá's Department of Design (UEM), Paranaense University's Department of Information Technology (Unipar), Senai (the National Industrial Learning Service) and iTag (a provider of RFID technology).

"In the course of our work, we seek to be grounded in research with the community of pet owners and veterinarians," says Wesley Alanis, a professor and staff member. "We have seen that the dogs in our region are obese, which has made us align the work even more."

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