I got a Raspberry Pi the previous Christmas and finally got around to creating a project around it. I put together a hamstrometer to measure how many miles our hamster Puffball ran per night. Using a magnetic reed switch I created a python script to record the number and speed of wheel rotations into a Postgres database. I let the script run for the entire month of October to get a full set of data on Puffball's activity.
Here's the some stats from the month:
|Total October distance:||123.767 miles|
|Total run time:||60 hours 20 seconds|
|Total wheel rotations:||416024|
|Average speed:||1.875 MPH|
|Max daily distance:||9.779 miles|
|Min daily distance:||1.458 miles|
|Active time:||8 pm to 8 am (but mostly 10 pm to 3 am)|
Not many of the stats were surprising as Puffball was a Roborovski hamster which are known for their speed and activity. Actually his nightly distance was lower than expected. There is a claim that Robo hamsters run up to 100 miles a night in the wild which made Puffball a bit of a slacker. Still it was like having a pet hummingbird which required continuous containment. I'm surprised he never ran during the day, ever. I would see him up sometimes during the day, but he never got on the wheel.
Sadly Puffball passed away two months after the experiment. I'm not sure if it was old age or the harassment from Molly our kitten. We got him on April 26, 2015 and he was found dead January 6, 2016. He was a fun pet to have around.
Reed Switch on Wheel
Raspberry Pi and Breadboard
Hourly Activity in October