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This Raspberry Pi-powered cat doorbell is purrfect

Cat in front of the Cat Doorbell.
(Image credit: Tennis Smith)
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An inventive Raspberry Pi user and cat owner, Tennis Smith, has created a clever way to know when the cat is ready to come in from the cold. It's a Raspberry Pi doorbell, but for cats. That's right, a Raspberry Pi doorbell for cats

Whenever the cat is back from doing cat things, it meows at the doorbell, which sends the owner a text message (thanks, Hardware Info (opens in new tab)).

The doorbell is a small box set at cat height. Inside is a small USB microphone plugged into an RJ45 adapter. Holes on the bottom of the box are there to hear the meows better. And, inevitably, a cat five cable from the RJ45 socket is run through the house into a Raspberry Pi. 

The Raspberry Pi is then loaded with Amazon Web Services (AWS) software and a machine learning app, Tensorflow Lite. The Tensorflow application works off a database of meows (seriously), so when it hears a cat's meow, it sends a text to your phone to let you know your cat is ready to come back inside. 

I'm hoping the database contains some prerecorded meows of Milo (Tennis' cat), so it can tell the difference between him and some trouble-making stray. Because if not every kitty in the neighborhood could prank the doorbell day and night.

Tennis says the project should take an afternoon to finish assuming you have all the parts already, and have some working knowledge of Python, AWS, and Tensorflow Lite. 

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Oh, and yes, you can make a doorbell for a dog, as well. Apparently, all you have to do is change one line in one file to "dog." Coding, it's easy. For everything you need to get going, consult the FAQ at the bottom of Tennis' cat doorbell GitHub page.

I've always loved seeing what folks can do with Raspberry Pi. Whether building a cheap retro gaming console or an unnecessarily elaborate alarm system; these projects all consistently put a smile on my face.

Jorge Jimenez
Hardware writer, Human Pop-Tart

Jorge is a hardware writer from the enchanted lands of New Jersey. When he's not filling the office with the smell of Pop-Tarts, he's reviewing all sorts of gaming hardware from laptops with the latest mobile GPUs to gaming chairs with built-in back massagers. He's been covering games and tech for nearly ten years and has written for Dualshockers, WCCFtech, and Tom's Guide.