The aim this project was to develop a device which would ease the separation anxiety of dogs from their owners. The aim was to do this through the use of a camera, display and dispenser to calm canines who suffer with separation anxiety by allowing the owner to interact and check on them while out of the home. This device will hopefully ease both the anxiety of the canine and the worries of the owner.
When researching the topic of separation anxiety in canines it was found that it is a common problem that most pet owners do not realise that their pets suffer from as it can be seen as misbehaviour. The project focused on this topic which involved researching, designing and constructing a device that allows for pet owners who have a canine with separation anxiety or illnesses to check in on them during the day so that they feel less worried. This device consists of a screen and camera to allow the owner and pet to see each other. There is also a treat/ food dispenser to allow the owner to the pet a treat or medicine through the day. This is done by connecting these elements to a Raspberry Pi and using a servo motor to turn the dispenser. The servo motor was connected to the Raspberry Pi via a PWM controller which allows for the use of Cayenne, an IoT remote access application. The servo would run by pressing a button on an app; this would release the food through a pipe onto the floor for the canine.
This project presented major challenges to access both the servo and camera remotely. When tested with a dog the owner found that after a few days of use their pet seemed less stressed when they left in the morning and more relaxed as there was minimal distress caused during the day.