Every morning, after feeding the little bastards, I make sure the litter pan is scooped. For the past month+ this has usually involved at least a half-hearted attempt to get the auto-scooping pan to work again.
Today we devolved slightly.
There was a progression through litter pans. We tried disposable pans, various liner schemes. We tried silica-gel litter (very sharp and painful to bare feet, horrid for the environment.) We tried pans with hoods, to contain litter and smells. We tried an array of mechanical self-scooping pans; exactly half the designs worked at all.
The best was a bowl-shaped unit with a conveyor which slowly turned and sifted the litter, lifting the lumps out to a bin. With care and attention this unit was quiet, successful. But nothing lasts forever, as each wore out it instigated a mad search to locate the current incarnation, and with each replacement unit it was more difficult to find, always a new brand name, and the quality of product was worse. They lasted about 18 months, until the last one which survived only a few weeks before failing.
That was a month ago. Today I purchased a non-mechanical pan which, by gently and slowly rolling it nearly 180° and then back, separates the clumps and poo to a drawer for easy disposal. Definitely a devolution, but hopefully more fool proof.