PetPal is developing a smart pet feeder with an AI integration for pets’ identification. The use of pet bowls can often make us fall short of what’s needed for consistent pet care due to modern day issues such as long absences from home, sudden work calls, or general inconsistencies in feeding. PetPal aids pet owners by allowing them to set a preferred time for their pet to be fed, and dispensing a set amount of pet feed ensuring no under or overfeeding. Users can personalise these settings through the Petpal app that must be installed, and a small video snippet will be provided of their pet eating the dispensed food, as given by the camera in the Raspberry Pi.


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Delivering Solutions for Global Issues

12th UN Goal – Responsible Consumption and Production
Overconsumption is a prominent issue in modern society, and Petpal intends to combat this issue with controlled portions of food for pets and promote responsible pet care. Furthermore, Petpal intends to use minimal electricity to operate our final product, further contriubuting to lower energy consuption.

13th UN Goal – Climate Action
A shocking 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by meat-based pet feed prodution, creating 106 million tonnes of annual carbon dioxide emissions. Petpal’s portion control results in a lack of overconsumption and waste. The demand for pet food will shrink as animals are fed the the correct portions and a mass use of Petpal would collectively reduce carbon dioxide levels and greenhouse gas emissions.


Deciding upon a design of the shell of the feeder has been difficult for the team to agree upon, specifically deciding if the shell should be curved or square-like, and how the motors dispense the food. We've also experienced a hardware issue where the RFID scanner was struggling to register any inputs.
Effective communication and brainstorming will allow us to agree upon a final design for our minimum viable product before the 3D modelling process begins, and we can do this easily through Discord, our chosen method of communication. The second issue could be fixed with either a new look at the code to see if it is a software issue, and if this doesn't work, we'll see about replacing the hardware.
Use Case
The most common use case for the PetPal automatic feeder would be the average working adult, and in this case, they may be away from home for most of the day. This is a long time to be absent from their pet, and may result in the animal's hunger and discomfort. If the assumed working adult also had an inconsistent work schedule, such as staying late or having to come in early, then their pet would suffer even more. Through the use of PetPal's feeder and app, the user would be able to decide when exaclty their pet gets fed, irradicating previous inconsistencies, and how much food the animal receives. The pet will recieve the correct amount of food at the same time every day, allowing the predetermined schedule to provide consistency and structure.


List of Essential Tools and Technologies



“The PetPal automatic feeder prototype will be dispensing dry food through one shoot into a bowl.
At first, the RFID scanner acts as an input, activating the Raspberry Pi to check the last time the feeder was activated. The feeder will only activate if the user-set minimum amount of time has passed. We have implemented a camera that will activate and check which animal is at the feeder against the AI model that we will be using, checking what species it is. Then, our motor will spin the auger and dispense a predetermined amount of food set by the user.”


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Stage 3

Online Marketing
Creative agency
Web development


Impact on the market

``Our product fits excellently into the existing market. With the rise in popularity of home automation technologies, PetPal will blend perfectly with the growing trend of smart devices. We offer the unique feature of AI pet recognition through the Raspberry Pi camera, potentially inciting a rise in research into other AI technologies that could aid with pet care. Differing from existing automated pet feeders, we offer a way for users to check in on their pet and observe the animals eating habits even when they are not at home. This is a trait not commonly seen in other automated pet feeders, and this in collaboration with our AI model will create a product that is unique and desirable to potential customers.

A product such as PetPal becoming popular amongst pet owners could revolutionise the pet care industry, normalising the use of smart systems with pet ownership. This allows for a more universally efficient way of feeding animals, and encourages users to care more about their pet's health. Products integrating AI features will skyrocket in popularity, and there will be mass production of PetPal systems. Then, the research and development of pet care systems featuring AI could be driven forward. At first, a negative impact could arise where poorer working class people may prefer to spend their money on regualr pet bowls, and PetPal may be more limited to pet owners with higher incomes. Eventually, the technology will become more widespread and therefore cheaper, allowing for pet owners of all incomes to own an automatic pet feeding system.``



To begin, we brainstormed ideas for how the product would work and what hardware we should use. After this, we accquired the hardware we thought we’d need from the University, gathering all but the motors. Then, we made sketches of the product’s outer shell, where we decided upon the colour, the shape, etc. Once we decided what motor type to use a couple weeks later (DC motors), we then went on to accuire those. We began utilising the hardware early on so that we were sure our product could work the way we intended. The 3D modeling process began shortly after, and we agreed upon what our final prototype would look like. The next step is to 3D print our model and finish coding the app that is used alongside our feeder to determine when animals are fed and how much. Lastly, we’ll combine the hardware and the shell after ensuring our AI model and camera is working the intended way.