The Motion Sensor Cat Toy uses parts from an old VHS player and other odds and ends to make a cat toy that never stops as long as your cat wants to play! It also starts moving as soon as your cat in near. Big fun for your cat and big fun for you!

Step 1: What You Need

$0.00 Recycle fake fur, wood, integrated circuit board, old tripod, old power brick ,
old leg weights
$0.00 Voltage meter, microcontroller chip, and microcontroller board (my brother's stuff)
$5.99 Motor, capacitor, and wires from an old VHS player bought at Goodwill
$0.00 Motion sensor which requires 3.3-5 volts
(in our electrical stuff box at home; these go for about $8)
$0.00 Solder and soldering iron with fine tip (Dad's; always us goggles)
Great job! And extra points for doing it with your son!
TERRIBLE!&nbsp;<br /> <br /> You teased us with a promise of <br /> <h2><a href="../../../id/Motion_Sensor_Cat_Toy_endless_fun_literally/step7/See-the-cat-sin-action/" name="step7" rel="nofollow"><span class="stepLabel" style="padding-right: 5.0px;">step 7</span><span class="stepTitle">See the cat sin action!</span></a></h2> ... but there was no dirty cat sinning action in the video at all!<br /> <br /> Guess I'm going to have to go to www.naughtycats.com for my kicks...<br />
lol win :)
Or, if you have an old VHS player in your basement collecting dust (like me), $0.00!
i just take a string, attach a toy and then attach that to my ceiling fan...:D
Thats Really cool!
my cat has gotten caught in these spinning things BE CAREFUL FOR YOUR CATS SAFTEY
I was going to say keep the string long enough if the cat gets ties up in it he will still land on the ground and be stuck in the air. Cats are 10x quicker than humans so they can get stuck in a rope that is twisting.<br/><br/>Steven<br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://scrabblecheat.com">http://scrabblecheat.com</a> scrabble help fun<br/><br/>
A simpification suggestion for others not wishing to purchase or program a microcontroller. Replace its function with a monostable multivibrator. See <a rel="nofollow" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multivibrator#Monostable_multivibrator_circuit">Monostable Multivibrator</a>. At its simplest, it is a handful of resistors, a cap, and a pair of transistors, although you will likely want to add a beefy one as a buffer to drive the motor.<br/>
Just a thought. Instead of having the toy spin at a constant speed, which I think is a bit to fast for a cat toy, you should use a stepper motor, say, off of an old floppy drive. That way you could send random pulses to the motor which would add to the randomness while making it a lot safer.
What a cool project! Nicely done. Mini-Instructable: In the past I have made a much lower tech, quick toy for my cat that is still a riot to watch. Take a regular 1/4" wide rubber band and tie a 8-9' piece of string to it. Stretch the rubber band around a ceiling fan blade (near the tip of the blade). Then cut the string off maybe 4-6" past (longer) where it hits the floor. Tie a second rubber band (or 2) to the end of the string so that when the fan is running at the lowest speed the dragging rubber bands grab the floor a little and hops around the circle as the string pulls it along. Play with string length so it doesn't stay still long enough for the cat to get a solid grab on it. Use a thin, light string (not yarn) so the dragging rubber band(s) catch the cats attention, not the string. The cat will run circles till she is exhausted. Then she will rest and do it again. Really fun to watch. !! CAUTION: Watch out for your cat's safety! Don't run the fan at high speed! Don't leave the rubber band/string on the fan blade when you are not there to watch the cat. My cat has never gotten tangled up in the string, but I imagine it is possible. Great job on the project and the Ible Kateham!
D'oh, someone beat me to this idea, I've been planning something like this in the back of my head for a long time. The motion sensor part is the crucial piece that has been missing from all motorized cat toys in the stores. My cat won't stay interested in a mechanical cat toy usually because the motor is too loud or the motion is too predictable. She figures out right away that it's a repetitive motion and gets bored quickly. Also, it has to be super dangly with chaotic movement. Nice job.
The cool thing about using a microchip is that you can build in as much repetitive motion or randomness you want. I could even get really crazy and let the cat have it after a number of seconds or minutes. That could be random too, like those crain machines that only grip enought to give you a toy after a certain numbe of tries. Humm... someone should market one of these.
We have one of those that has the mirror in it and reflects the laser. The cat likes it for a while - more if it gets in her cube or box. But you're right - she wants it (the light) back in it's own house before long....
If there's a rubber band in the string holding the lure, it will jump away when she lets go.
Good idea. That would make the toy a bit more random.
Please embed the videos in the Instructable. Oh, and your cat seems to be having lots of fun. Maybe if the motor moved more random (see <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.instructables.com/id/Twitchy_Your_E_waste_Friend/">Twitchy, Your E-waste Friend</a>). That would get the cat's attention, that and a laser pointer. Attach the laser pointer at an angle to the motor, then let the cat-fun begin!<br/>
Like so:
Cool! I'll look at that. Randomness makes for more code. We've messed at home already and found a way to slow and speed the motor. I don't think a project like this is ever really done. There are so many other ideas. On the laser... I'm always afraid with my laser the cat will look in the laser and I will hurt his eyes. At least I've been told not to point the laser at the cat. They are laser lovers, though.
laser pointers are about Milliwatt and the more powerful ones are 5milliwatt and it takes a mere milliwatt or so laser to blind a human,and thats temporary the reason people say they're blind when a 1 milliwatt laser gets in they're eyes is because your eye will try to adjust to the high amount of light then when you take it off it takes your eye a minute or so to adjust the darkness
I love cats and do not want to harm them, but I saw <a rel="nofollow" href="http://hackaday.com/2009/02/04/laser-pup/">this</a> and thought it was the greatest thing ever.<br/>
they make light beams now that aren't laser... <br/>like this one...<br/><br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.petco.com/product/102632/Booda-Light-Chaser-Cat-Toy.aspx">http://www.petco.com/product/102632/Booda-Light-Chaser-Cat-Toy.aspx</a><br/><br/>i dont know how well they work... afraid to spend the money on it if it's going to be a dud<br/><br/>on the motion detection thing... try a high potency organic cat nip. my cat won't touch generic cat nip toys. but my cousin gave her this high potency organic stuff and she goes wild over it. adding something like that to the toy might attract the cat more.<br/>
i like cats to,and if you do use a 1MiliWatt laser<br/>also if you like cats gimme a billion bucks<sup>_-(wink)</sup><br/>
I added some randomness. See the new video. I also embedded the links. Thanks for the comment!
First, great invention. I have seen both videos and believe the cat's seem to be more interested if there is a wide swing instead of fast rotation around the own axis. I wouldn't bother with a laser tho, I think the point of the laser would be too fast for the cats to chase. Did you ever think about adding mouse flavor to the toy? :-)
I'd have to catch some mice. Maybe I'll make a motion sensor mouse trap. ; )
You were mentioned on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://hackaday.com/2009/03/09/motion-detecting-cat-toy/">Hack a Day</a>!<br/>
So cool.
I don't see safety goggles! Solder flux or solder in the eye is really bad.
Whoa. Mom is on that one. Goggles for me. I added a note in the instructions. Thanks.
Yes, ignoring the toy you spent so much time making them is fairly typical cat-behaviour... L
We love our cats... and love learning about technology. It is also a cool toy for someone who is bed bound or has trouble getting up. It would be a hit at Grandma's place. The toy is a win for all! Thanks for your comment!
The microcontroller was an Atmel Attiny25
you failed to mention what kind of MCU you used...
It was an Atmel Attiny25.
even better use a laser pointer,but make sure it moves slow and that the light stays on all the time because cats will give up on finding a laser light if it goes around too fast or dissapears too frequently
Adding weights to the base would be good, too. That would prevent it from being tipped over (as almost seen in the video).

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