Automating our chicken coop (Introduction)

One of the fun things about holidays is tinkering around on projects that you never get around to normally during the year.  These last few years, I have had fun (and much frustration) tinkering around with Arduino.  The task for the Summer 2013 holidays was to automate our newly built chicken coop.  Whilst chickens actually need tending pretty much every day (to get their eggs and check water) wouldn’t it be good if your coop would regularly measure the humidity and air temperature and tweet you the feed levels?  Well I thought it might be good if it did, so I found some old parts and created a chicken coop bot!

The “proof of concept” bot has the following bill of materials:

  • Freetronics Etherten
  • Grove Base Board
  • Grove RTC
  • Grove Humidity and Temperature Sensor Pro
  • Parallax Ultrasonic Range finder

If you want your bot to tweet information then you will also need to get a https://thingspeak.com/ account and link it to your twitter account.

The great thing is that you can get code to get each of these components working.  However, I struggled to get them all working together at once.  Maybe it was part dodgy programming, part rushing and part quirkiness of arduino.

In the mean time, before my next post, why not get the components, follow the links to the respective component wikis to try out the code in order to familiarise you with how each actually works?

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