Internet controlled donkey treat dispenser for a nonprofit and for smiles

Very cool idea. 🫏

There are obviously two parts to this:

1) can you automate a button press?

Absolutely! I myself am quadriplegic (use a wheelchair and have limited use of my hands), so there are lots of buttons around my house that I can’t work by myself. But fortunately, there are now available, automated button pushers, essentially a little robot finger, which you can Literally stick on the activation button for anything from a coffeemaker to a DVD eject button And automate a previously dumb device that way. I like the SwitchBot brand And use those, but there are some even less expensive ones from Tuya called the Fingerbot. So that part is quite easy.

I have a thread in this forum about how I use them to turn on a television which was Smart once it was powered on, but needed that one button push to get started, that has all the details. :sunglasses:

2020 Switchbot Review ( robot button pusher), integration through IFTTT or SmartThings app

  1. now the donation part. this one gets trickier, but it’s doable. You can use an email or a text with specific content as the trigger in some home automation systems, although not directly in SmartThings. The problem is being sure that it’s exactly the right event. But it should be doable If you do some research to find the right ones. Some candidates to research:

A) if you have an iPhone and set up Apple Home, this is built into a feature called “shortcuts.“ you can create an automation based on a specific text or email.

  • Subject Contains: Triggers your automation when you receive an email with a subject containing the phrase you’ve added to this field.

Communication triggers in Shortcuts on iPhone or iPad - Apple Support

Pros: this is an official HomeKit feature, which is very easy to use. Free.
Cons: really only suitable for people who already have the Apple devices needed to set up Apple HomeKit.

B) if you have an android phone, you can do something similar with the third-party app Tasker To process the text/email and another third-party app, sharptools, to then do something in SmartThings.

Pros: works for those who don’t have the Apple devices needed for option A.
Cons: requires paying for and using two third-party apps, and that makes the setup a little complicated

C) you can also look at doing this with IFTTT. But while IFTTT used to be completely free, now you have to pay for a subscription for many of the features, and set up, has gotten more complicated.

Pros: more incoming options, and works for both android and iPhone.
Cons: as stated, above, now probably requires an ongoing paid subscription, and it can be tricky to figure out exactly how to set everything up

I’m sure there are other options as well, hopefully people will post if they know of some but basically IF you have a way for the service that you are using to collect the donations to send you a text or email which is specific enough to use as a trigger, you should be able to find some service that can receive that alert and then act on it.

Good luck! :sunglasses: