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experience of RFID reader driving smart feeder


I recently saw your papers and website on the low-cost RFID tag readers. Great! I was especially interested in your suggestion that your design could be attached to external devices, and that you are using ´smart-feeders´. Since I´m thinking of using this system to allow only certain individuals to use certain feeders, I was hoping that you could let me know how your experiences have been so far? I always have the position that using more fancy techniques allow you to do more and more fancy things, but at the same time increases the probability and impact of technical errors (often without realising this in time), so it really is a trade-off. Has it worked out for you? I plan to work in captive conditions, so without (hopefully) the complications of humidity, low temperatures, etc. which I understand can be a major head ache.


Many thanks for any feedback you may have,



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Hola, Pim. The trade-off you mentioned certainly applies. The smartfeeders require a lot of maintenace, especially when we use mealworms. They work pretty well with food pellets and crushed peanuts. In a lab setting you should have an easier go of it (no woodpeckers destroying things). I'd say plan on doing a lot of testing and running a lot of prototypes. It is hard to find a system that works well and that is compatible with your study organisms. For example, we started by using a simple door that would allow and deny access to food. But the moving parts scared the birds away.

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