A tail-wagging solution: the ESPHome connected dog bowl

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In the realm of pet care, a tinkerer has offered us an elegant solution – the ESPHome connected dog bowl. With a few affordable components, you can create a smart feeding device that keeps you in the loop about your beloved pet's dining habits, be it a dog, cat, capybara, or even a hedgehog.

A blue dog bowl on a load cell hooked up to an ESP8266 board.
The ESP8266 board has been wrapped in plastic for its own good

Assembling your pet's personal waiter

For this delightful contraption, you'll need an ESP8266 board (or ESP32) and a load cell weight sensor equipped with a load cell amplifier, such as the popular and cheap HX711. These components are as essential as bread and butter in a sandwich. You may opt for a pre-soldered ESP8266 board to save time and effort.

Connecting the components is as easy as pie with Dupont cables, and you can power the ESP8266 using an old phone charger. The load cell, which operates within a 2.6V~5.5V range, can be powered directly from the ESP8266 board.

A feast of notifications

This clever invention allows you to receive notifications when your pet's food or water runs low. The load cell measures the weight of the bowl and its contents, and you can set it to alert you when the bowl is empty or nearly so.

Setting up the banquet

The brains behind this project have generously shared their code on GitHub. Once you've assembled your device, you'll need to calibrate the data, much like pressing the tare button on a kitchen scale.

First, place the empty bowl on the load cell to establish the baseline weight. Note the value displayed in the logs. Then, add a known mass, such as a 1000 g calibration weight, to the bowl and record the new value. You can repeat this process with different weights for greater accuracy.

And there you have it – the connected dog bowl powered by ESPHome, a technological marvel that ensures your pet never goes hungry or thirsty again.

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