We set out to build a tool that would enable those that have an interest in raising their own food, to try it with less of a time investment.
What it does
It opens and closes the coop door in the morning and evening. As a precaution to keep chickens from being locked out at night, we have a sensor that counts the chickens to ensure that they have all returned home for the night.
How we built it
We built a wooden demo display and used an Arduino to control the electronic components.
Challenges we ran into
We originally intended to create a graphical interface to compliment our physical prototype. We had difficulty trying to work with unfamiliar hardware, and opted to focus on creating a functional prototype.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Although we were worried that we would not be able to make the device functional in the allotted time, we ended up creating a well polished product.
What we learned
We learned that this may be more viable than we had originally thought. We were able to keep costs low, and can see an opportunity for a scalable business model.
What's next for chicken net
The automatic door is just the start to the potential applications for chicken coop automation. Future prototypes would probably involve using RFID anklets to track the activity of individual animals.