Electrical & Computer Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



Arce, W., & Stevens, J. R. 2022. A Precise Dispenser Design for Canine Cognition Research. Journal of Open Hardware, 6(1): 2, pp. 1–13. DOI: https:// doi.org/10.5334/joh.41


Open access.


Some forms of canine cognition research require a dispenser that can accurately dispense precise quantities of treats. When using off-the-shelf or retrofitted dispensers, there is no guarantee that a precise number of treats will be dispensed. Often, they will over-dispense treats, which may not be acceptable for some tasks. Here we describe a 3D-printed precise treat dispenser with a 59-treat capacity driven by a stepper motor drive and controlled by an integrated Raspberry Pi. The dispenser can be built for less than 200 USD and is fully 3D printable. While off-the-shelf dispensers can result in an error rate of 20–30%, the precision dispenser produces a 4% error rate. This lower error rate and the integrated Raspberry Pi allows for new possibilities for using treat dispensers across a range of canine research questions.