Cats can be lazy, which like its human counterparts, isn’t always the best thing for their health. The owner of Jasper and Ruben (who opts to remain anonymous) has found a cool way to get his or her felines to exercise by building a Raspberry Pi-monitored, hamster-like wheel.
As Jasper and Ruben walk/run, the cat-propelled wheel logs information such as distance traveled, length of time exercising and average speed, all of which is shown in real-time on a web-based interface. Meanwhile, a camera also allows the owner to the workout.
The Pi’s GPIO is connected to a coil sensor behind the wheel, which is housed in an old DSL splitter box, held as close as possible to the wheel without actually touching it. A coil sensor detects magnetic field, so the wheel itself has some modifications to make it detectable and measurable: six small ferrous nails hidden in the lining.