Automated pet feeder prototype named strongest senior-year project at Ashesi’s 2022 Commencement

When Ashesi moved online in 2020, Electrical and Electronics major Michael Boateng ’22 got a pet dog – a long-held desire of his. Spending more time at home at the time, he expected to be able to raise the dog, which he named Tina. However, a few weeks after he got the foreign-breed dog, it passed away. It was a painful experience and a hard lesson for him.“Foreign breed dogs like Tina have high nutritional and medical needs – especially in infancy,” Michael shares. “The dogs need water, food, and medication at specific intervals. If these needs are unmet, owners may lose their dogs or spend a lot of money on their health care.”When it came time to choose a senior-year project this past academic year, Michael decided to focus his work on a solution to help dog owners better raise their pets based on his own experiences. He built an automated dog feeder modeled after feeders on the global market, but with the goal of producing it at a much lower cost. After losing his dog and reading more about being a pet owner, he came across this gap in the Ghanaian market he thought he could address.

The prototype he built was for a fully automated food, water, and medication dispenser, with a companion mobile app for active monitoring. His prototype also included a low-frequency dog whistle that could be remotely triggered to signal a dog when it was time for feeding – even when an owner was away from home. At his Commencement Ceremony in June, the Engineering department named Michael’s project the best for the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Class of 2022.

“I struggled the most with designing the structure to house all the components of the device in a way that could allow all the parts to work together seamlessly,” Michael shares. “It was a challenging project, but I pulled it off with support and encouragement from my supervisor Mr. Akparibo and advisor Dr. Amankwah.”

Watch Michael share more about his work in the video above.

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