(Image: Jasper Ruben)
Jasper Ruben did more than build an exercise wheel for his cats. That's fun for the cats, but fun does not equal data. And if it's not data, it doesn't exist.
So Ruben programmed a Raspberry Pi to track his cat's exercise performance. Hack A Day explains:
The wheel now features a Raspberry Pi which can track speed, calculate distance traveled, and determine the equivalent running speed of [Jasper’s] feline companions.
To calculate the speed of the wheel, [Jasper] is using a small coil sensor (similar to how bicycle speedometers work). Six nails in the wheel trigger the sensor. Once the data is on-board the Pi, some simple calculations allow [Jasper] to provide a few different metrics on how effective the cat exercise is. A webcam sends a live stream of the wheel online with a data overlay for your viewing pleasure.