The Robo Dwarf Hamster is said to be the smallest and fastest of all hamsters. Because of this fact, my son named his Furrari (get it, like a Ferrari but with fur). We were surprised to see how much time Furrari spent on his wheel and we wondered just how far and how fast this little guy went.
As any geeky dad would do, I bought a $10 bicycle computer, and hooked it up to the wheel.
There were three issues I expected to have to deal with.
- I assumed I would have to convert the readings but I was pleased to discover that that there was no issue at all with programming the small inside diameter of the wheel (less than 5 inches) into the bicycle computer. So, what it shows on the screen is what the hamster is doing.
- I expected that the sensor might not react quickly enough at the speed that the small diameter wheel was spinning, however it has worked fine.
- I was concerned that Furrari might chew the wire. I put the wire high in the cage and so far, the hamster has not bothered it.
Here are some facts and figures we've discovered.
During a typical 24 hour period, Furrari spends about 6.5 to 7 hours running on his wheel and travels around 15 miles. One day he ran over 22 miles. His maximum speed has been 4.4 miles per hour although he averages about half that.