Every Twitch has some kind of customary celebration when a donation comes in. Whether it be a little dance, a catchphrase, acknowledgement of the user or something more exotic. Today, however, it’s a bit more high tech rural with a machine that feeds chickens.
The core of the machine is a pair of candy dispensers which usually rely on coins and the turning of their mechanism to release what’s in their hoppers. Hodgins bypassed this with a 3D printed mechanism hooked up to some motors and a simple LED display.
When a donation comes into the Sweet Farm Twitch stream, it is logged into a Google Sheet. The Raspberry Pi controlling the machine grabs this donation and displays it on the screen, as well as activating one of the two dispensers at random to feed the chickens.
The setup is a rather clever standalone system, with solar panels for power and a cellular 4G modem to connect to the internet for streams.
We’ve embedded Hodgins’ YouTube video detailing the build of the machine below, and below that is the Twitch stream which was offline at the time of writing but may be back up depending on when you read this story.
Sweet Farm also has a dedicated page to the project which it appropriately calls “Robot Chickens”. There it states that a donation of $10 or more will activate the machine to feed the rescued animals as Sweet Farm isn’t a regular farm. More information can be read about it here.
This isn’t the first time that animal interaction has been used in a livestream. There are many based around this idea with some incorporating some kind of machinery to interact with the animals in playful way.
That being said those streams are usual focused on cats on dogs, and this is the first time we’ve seen the humble chicken get some love in an extremely niche way.