So, to answer the question about why I wanted a remote-controlled cat-feeder...
We have a couple of feral kitties, who are part-time residents of our back yard. They're incredibly shy, and seem not very happy about the fact that Robb and I spend a lot of time outside. "Sleeves" in particular seems unhappy with our presence. This cat treats us like an unpleasant hallucination. It ignores us as much as possible, and seems to be doing the feline equivalent of sticking its fingers in its ears and humming, "la-la-la...I can't see you."
"Sleeves" was, initially, a lot braver than "Cardigan." "Cardigan" would run for its life as soon as it saw us. I've been trying to convince the cats that we have no intention of murdering them, but they remain unconvinced.
To earn their trust, I've been bribing them with food.
The problem is that "Sleeves" is way more of a food-hound than timid little "Cardigan." Because I was setting out food for multiple cats, and "Sleeves" was eating all of it, I wanted to be able to lift the food out of reach if "Cardigan" wasn't around. Robb built a very amusing levitating food bowl, but we realized that this was probably not a very good solution.
I figured that eventually the cats love of food would win out over their fear of humans. But this is going to take some time.
Robb took this last photograph. Do you see that we actually have three neighbor cats? So far, the cat in the middle of this group hasn't eaten any of the food that I've set out. He's really uncomfortable around us.