Froot Loop Dispenser

Manager: Krish Kabra 


Sponsored by Prof. Mayank Mehta

Learning Objectives: Microcontrollers, Electronics, Apparatus Design & Construction

Prof. Mayank Mehta’s research focuses on answering the question of how the mind emerges from activities of ensembles of neurons. In order to investigate this, they perform experiments on rats in unusual environments, which includes a symmetric room that has no visual landmarks that a rat can use as a reference point to orient oneself. The purpose of this experiment is to understand how a rat’s brain maps such an environment with no visual aid. As part of the experiment, Froot Loops are dropped into the room at random intervals in random locations to learn how the rat responds. However, there is currently no way of dispensing the loops without having an experimenter within the room, which makes the experiment much more dubious and time-consuming. The goal of our project is to create a dispensing mechanism, and use a microcontroller to operate it, which would eliminate the need to have an experimenter in the room while running the experiment.