If you have a lot of horses to feed, and each needs a certain nutritional profile, it takes a long time. When humans are controlling the feeding process, it also forces the horses to eat at given times. According the the helpful folks of Platinum Performance, it is better for them to eat when they are hungry, as they are smart enough to know when the ideal time to eat was.
We automated the process by giving each horse a coded profile, such that when a horse walks up to a sensor on the feeding box, the feeding box will automatically mix in the necessary nutrients. It will track how much nutrition supplements that are being put into the horse's feed, so that it does not overdose on certain medicines.
Yeet hay sounds like "eat hay", has the word yeet, and is a pun in Cantonese.
What it does
This device allows horses to decide when they want to receive food, allocating a portion of a horse's daily feed when it taps a sensor.
How we built it
For the front end, we built a simple web app that allows a user to register new horse information as well as retrieve existing data. Separately, there is a device that responds (we used an iPhone camera) to a horse tap by taking repeated pictures and using OCR to recognize the horse's ID, which is ideally printed on a tag. All horse data is stored on Firebase, and get and post requests are sent through our Flask server. As for hardware, we used a small Arduino servo, which emulates the rotating motion for the actual feeding machine.
Challenges we ran into
The hardest part of this project by far was the hardware. One of the boards we used was missing a critical component, and in general we had trouble debugging issues with the Arduino and Raspberry Pi because our entire team had no experience with them before.
Another challenge, one we admittedly put on ourselves, was our inexperience with the topic area of horses. As such, we designed our application with vague parameters like "vitamin 1" that would be modified in a production build. This limited our design ability as well, since our group is not familiar with horse diets or eating habits.
We also had trouble setting up Firebase because the documentation is difficult to read through.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We built a thing using hardware!!! It's not very often that we get to write code that actually interfaces with something physical.
What we learned
how to center an 'a' tag
Flask and Firebase
Turning a servo on an Arduino
What's next for yeet hay（熱氣）