In an amusing take on quantifying a cat’s bathroom habits, Owen Ashurst has devised a unique solution using technology. Instead of investing in automated litter boxes, he opted for a traditional litter box with clever modifications. Inside the box’s cover, he placed a NodeMCU microcontroller along with a PIR sensor to detect the cat’s presence and an MQ135 air quality sensor to monitor gas levels, particularly ammonia and sulfides.
Upon startup, the system connects to Wi-Fi, initiates a web user interface, and links to Owen’s Home Assistant via MQTT. It then periodically sends sensor readings to track the cat’s visits, distinguishing between fresh deposits and revisiting the litter. The setup acknowledges that the sensors might also capture disturbances caused by cats digging in the litter, which, in itself, is a common behavior.
While unconventional, this project demonstrates a playful approach to integrating technology into everyday scenarios and collecting data that, while quirky, can be both entertaining and insightful. If you want to follow Owen’s step into IoT home projects then why not see what you can get done with a Raspberry Pi Pico W in this article.
The IoT grocery list:
- 9Pcs MQ2 MQ-3 MQ-4 MQ-5 MQ-6 MQ-7 MQ-8 MQ-9 MQ-135 Sensor Module kit
- PIR Infrared Motion Sensor (HC-SR501)
- Wemos® Lolin ESP32 WiFi Bluetooth Dual ESP-32 ESP-32S ESP8266 OLED Module
- Raspberry Pi Pico WH with pre-soldered headers