FED3, an open source Feeding Experimentation Device that you can DIY or just buy!

The Feeding Experimentation Device v.3 (FED3) is a smart pellet dispensing device originally designed for training mice on nose-poking tasks. Contributors to the product include Lex Kravitz, Sophi Kravitz, Bridget Matikainen-Ankney, Andrew Hardaway, Mohamed Ali, Katrina Nguyen, and Filipe Carvalho. FED3 is battery powered and designed for home cages. It collects information on nosepokes and pellet retrieval times which can be synchronized with ephys and fiber photometry or a light source for optogenetic stimulation via a programmable output.

The device runs on an Adafruit Adalogger M0 Feather board, which also includes a microSD card slot for recording behavioral data. So it can easily be modified with new sensors or code to change its function. It’s been used in several papers already.

The project is open-source, and you can find the design files, code, and quickstart instructions for building the FED3 on their Hackaday webpage. You can also buy FED3 from the Open Ephys if you don’t want to build it yourself. Bought from Open Ephys it costs ~$200 (with a possible $50 discount on your first 4 devices).

The Hackaday website includes a copious amount of instructions, logs and updates on the project, a comments section, and a list of components. Those logs include a tremendous amount of videos, comments on the design process and mass production, pictures and data:

You can find a bill of materials with cost on the files portion of the hackaday website. Overall the project costs ~$120 to build yourself.