DESIGN OF A SELF-FEEDING FISH DEVICE FOR RESEARCH REARED DANIO RERIO

Open Access
Author:
Burke, Emily Catherine
Area of Honors:
Mechanical Engineering
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Eric Marsh, Thesis Supervisor
  • Sean Brennan, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • zebrafish
  • design
  • self-feeding
  • mechatronic
  • arduino
Abstract:
This work details the design of a self-feeding device for research-reared zebrafish (danio rerio). One device feeds 1-25 zebrafish, and it attaches to the side of straight edged fish tanks. As zebrafish enter the device, their movement triggers a sensor that then signals a small DC motor to release food into the tank. This process allows zebrafish to receive food when they desire, instead of timed intervals throughout the day. After various prototypes and designs, it was determined that the most practical sensor for the device consists of a photoresistor (light dependent resistor, LDR) and laser, and the most practical food dispenser involves a DC motor in conjunction with ReSun’s timed food dispenser container. An Arduino UNO connects the system together and tracks data. A prototype of the design was tested at The Pennsylvania State University, and although it was not long lasting due to leakages and electrical malfunctions, the initial test proved that zebrafish can successfully interact with the device within the first several minutes of implementation. Within the first eight minutes of inserting the device in the tank, the device released food 19 times due to motion triggers, and on average, 67% of the fish in the tank were interacting with the device at any given time. Future work includes implementing prototype improvements, long-term behavioral testing, and manufacturing a mass-marketable device.