Home » Hardware » Sugarduino Part 1 : Arduino, sugar gliders, and hot tea

Sugarduino Part 1 : Arduino, sugar gliders, and hot tea

I was sitting at home reading up on my pets. I have a pair of Sugar Gliders, Icarus and Finn, and they fascinate me. They have an apparent intelligence that intrigues me the most, so I’m trying to figure out effective ways of teaching or measuring them. I want something that is less anthropomorphic than “Ooooh aren’t you smart?”


That brings me to the Arduino. Specifically, I have a FreakLabs HackerMoms FredBoard and an enclusure, and I am very happy with it. I’ve spent the last few days playing around with it more, getting used to collecting, processing, and displaying sensor data. A frozen liquor bottle and a cup of hot tea helped get a thermal sensor working, and the teapot provided a useful reference weight for a pressure sensitive foam.


I’m sure you can see where I’m going here. I figure I want to try and collect data from my pets, and see what interesting things I find. I’ve done some reading and thinking, and I’ve decided on the following:


  • Measuring the average use of the running wheel per night, and an attempt to calculate the distance “run” each night.
  • Measuring the amount of time spent in their nest each night.
  • Recording sounds
  • Recording video
  • Measuring foraging behaviour (I want to build a toy with holes, with sensors, to tell me how frequently they search through it.)


I also want to build a small foraging toy, and “label” the holes with a colour or shape, and see what happens when one shape is always loaded, half loaded, never loaded, etc. I have a few ideas on how they might react, perhaps they will become habituated to ignoring certain shapes and attending to others, or if they always check all their options…

More to come in the future.


See you next week.




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