Arduino Uno

light sensor

Corner
-->

Chicken house door

Having faced a problem with wild animals eating up my chicken, I decided to build an automatic door opening and closing mecanisme, controlled by a Arduino equiped with a light sensor.

The door itself constists of three parts:

  • The sliding door itself,
  • the motor (I used KNEX for this) and
  • a controller circuit which I took out of an old RC car.

Motor controller

Only the parts in the leftmost corner are used. There is one signalline that tells the motor to turn forward and anathor one to turn backward. These lines can be connected immediately to some digital pins on the Arduino, which make controlling the motor direction quite easy. The circuit is the following one, which I found here.

Circuit

In order to detect whether the door is at the topmost or bottommost position, I used two switches which I hate previously dismounted from CD drives:

Switch

Finally I put everything together in a nice box and connected it using a simple network cable to the Arduino controller. The Arduino controller itself cohabits a box with a Rasberry Pi. Both devices are interconnected by USB, so I can use the Raspi to program the Arduino and read out data passed over the serial line.

Box

For the bottom sensor I used my 3D printer in order to create a switch. I'm not yet satisfied with my actual sensor case as the rabbits are still able to lift up the door a bit, which opens the door until it blocks completely at the top.