They are so dang cute. If you have ever seen the cool promo for the Necomimi Neurowear wearable set of cat ears that respond to brainwaves, you would want a set too. But it seems they may be vaporware since it hasn't materialized on the market yet, not that I would be able to afford them though. Necomimi or nekomimi is Japanese for "cat ears".

What do you do with them? You can wear it for Halloween or everyday, if desired. It may be for the anime otaku seriously into their cosplay. For the furries out there, I'm not asking so don't tell me.

Now what would the simplified caitlinsdad version be? Well, getting into advanced monitoring and feedback of brainwaves might be kinda expensive(they are dumping at the toy mega-store those Star Wars force trainers - control the floating ball with your mind- now $60 from $100 or maybe gut an i-dog but then I don't think the gears are powerful enough) and building some raw circutry is way more than I want to do. Pulley and invisible strings is so ghetto(Not that there's anything wrong with that...). A joystick that controls some motors on a headband? I know, how about servos controlled by an Arduino? And how about using an accelerometer to determine tilt/movement/position of the head to trigger ear movement. Tilt sensor switches might be too basic. GPS gets complicated and compass magnetomometer only points North.

This gives me a project to use with my recently acquired Arduino(no, it did not fall off a truck...I have a receipt). Besides, Caitlin says I have to make this or sew her a custom sling/messenger book bag.

This instructable may be more of an Arduino primer than about the cat ears. Note that this is a prototype project and I am throwing it out at this stage in the spirit of Open Source. I know it can be improved a lot by others and with more time to tweak it.

Okay, they look like bunneh ears, kinda like a cat.

With one of the ear coverings on...

and the star of the show...

Step 1: Getting Started With Arduino

I found that my local computer supergeekstore had stocked Sparkfun retail Arduino components. Maker Faire sells them at the Make: Shed. Adafruit has them also. You could get them from Sparkfun themselves. Hmmm, tax works out about what I would pay in shipping and would not have to wait at the door for the package. I had bought an Arduino Uno $30(other variants($25) require the FTDI programmer USB interface($15) which is built in to the Uno). Other add-ons can run up the tab. I have a 2x16 LCD display($20) to play with next. See if the kits will save you any money. The books were all text-book priced and I was sure info could be gleaned from the internet.

You have to go to arduino.cc to download the Arduino programming interface for your PC. It allows you to create "sketches" or programs that get uploaded to the ATmega microprocessor chip on the Arduino board. The site contains tutorials and examples of code used to implement the devices you want to interface with the Arduino.

On a PC, only thing tricky in getting started is you have to manually install the USB drivers so that it recognizes the Arduino on a COM port.

A computer with the Arduino software installed, USB drivers, a USB cable to connect the PC and Arduino, and the Arduino Uno is all you need to get started. The Uno has an LED onboard that you can control with a sketch.

I wanted to get an Arduino so I could do some of those cool things like build 3-D LED matrices and light reactive tabletops.

It is easy to get your LED blinking and fading. It was easy to modify an example sketch to do Cylon lights(Knight Rider lights),  just add more LEDs and resistors.  Read up on all the LED instructables and you can throw around terms like "charlieplexing".

So, always hook up an LED with a resistor so you don't burn it out(search "LED calculator" for widgets to find the right resistor value). A trip to Radio Snacks to get a bag of assorted LEDs and 100 ohm resistors. A trip back to get a protoboard and 100 ohm resistors because I failed to note 100k resistors are not 100 ohm resistors. And another trip back after realizing I do not have any wire thin enough (22 gauge?) that fit in the holes on the protoboard (and get solid not stranded).

I saw a precut pack of jumpers but hey, I have a nice pair of wire strippers and can do that. I saw online some premade jumpers that had a patch-cord plug-like cover on the ends of the wires. Hey, I could get some tiny plastic jewelry beads, and pass the wire through and maybe solder or tin the ends of the wire to keep it in place. Do not do that, tinning the ends makes it not fit in the holes. Find a bead that fits snugly or put a drop of glue to hold it in place.

Back to this project:

Once you are comfortable enough to wire up your protoboard and have done a few sketches, you should be able to tackle this project.

You will need to get:

* Protoboard or breadboard to wire the circuit together.

* Wire, lotsa wire with the ends stripped

* 2 standard servos (My brother flies radio-controlled jets and helicopters so he had some spares to give me. Free is always good)
 three wire, 6 volts DC in, pulse-width-modulation PWM signal

* ADXL345 accelerometer breakout board - $30 

* some LEDs and appropriate resistors (200-300 ohm usually works for your standard red/green/yellow medium sized 5mm LED)
The LEDs are really just diagnostic LEDs and indicators to help you fine tune your programming.

* You will need some basic soldering skills and tools.

* Power pack for your Arduino and power pack for your servos to make it portable

* Some craft fur, craft sheet foam and ear lining material

* Basic sewing skill. You can sew this by hand, machine or just use tape, glue/iron-on interfacing.

<p>Very good Instructable.</p>
After viewing this &ldquo;Instructable&rdquo; I have no doubt that America, i.e., Americans, will solve the problems that plague mankind the world over. To think that the prototype was built on top of a Campbell&rsquo;s Soup Can. WOW! I am humbled and overwhelmed to think of a world living in peace with everyone sporting their Cat Ears. What a concept. I can just envision the world&rsquo;s delegates at the UN sitting down, putting on their Cat Ears with translation ear phones incorporated into the head band. Caitlin and the Cat Ears are very cute. Thank you Caitlin's dad. <br>
I have no doubt that the world, i.e. worldy peoples, are secure knowing that velcro has been invented to solve those problems that plague mankind wherever an ordinary fastener will not do. I can't wait for when velcro2 hits the market.
In my opinion velcro and duct tape is need to save the world, lol
Those ears are so neat, I have to make some!
This is fantastic! I've been very interested in the transhuman movement, as well as EEG technology such as Mindflex, and this is one thing that strikes me as a step in the right direction. So cool!
Thank you, Dr. Frankenstein.
From the video's description, they say the &quot;necomimi&quot; ears will be out near the end of this year. Plus in other related videos, we see them being tried out at some trade show. So I'd say they are real and coming soon!<br><br>As for your instructable...AWESOME! It's obviously much more bulky and louder than the &quot;necomimi&quot; on the YouTube video, but I think its awesome how you did this one. Definitely a great starting point.<br><br>
I think it will only appear in the Nieman-Marcus or Hammacher Schlemmer catalogues. Get those elves cracking on the knockoffs.
eehhh...whats up doc?? those are bunny ears<br>
silly cat.
How clever! thanks for sharing!<br>sunshiine
Thanks. They still need some work though.
They are adorable, nicely done!
Neat idea!
There's gotta be some loose arduinos around the office...and <strike>steal</strike> <strike>lift</strike> appropriate some servos from Randy's bots to make yourself some nifty dinosaur ears.
Really, really cute!
more usagi than neko but still cool now all that needs to happen is to shrink every , make it thought active ,and put it on everybody in the world and then we would have achieved world peace cause nothing can be anger when they look this cute
Domo arigato.

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