Introduction: Sad Cat Fixer - the ICat

Picture of Sad Cat Fixer - the ICat

This sad cat fixer will not only make your cat happy, it will also be fun for you to use as well.

The iCat is a joystick controlled moving laser that your cat would love to chase around! Originally, it was supposed to be controlled right from your smartphone. However, with the internet restrictions put in place by the Peel District School Board, this idea will not be possible as the iCat uses WiFi to connect to the Arduino board.

With limited time remaining, our team modified the idea to the next best thing, using an actual joystick to control the laser!

Step 1: Building the Circuit

Picture of Building the Circuit

To build the circuit of the Arduino board, follow the instructions shown in this picture.

The key things to note are the x-axis and y-axis servos. For ours, we chose to use standard servos, meaning that the numbers in the code will be the angles for the servos to move to.

Since our product attaches the servos one on top of the other, we cleverly chose to use the bigger servo as the x-axis servo on the bottom, and the smaller, more delicate y-axis servo on top attached to the blades of the x-axis servo.

Lastly, to attach the servos together, we used a technologically advanced binding mechanism known as tape.

Step 2: Download the Blynk App and Use the Code

Picture of Download the Blynk App and Use the Code

Our original plan was to have everything controlled remotely from a smartphone app called Blynk. There would be an on/off button, a button to activate or deactivate the automatic mode, and a joystick to control the orientation of the laser. Not only would there be less wiring, but it would be more versatile as well.

Unfortunately, this would not work on the school network, so our solution was to transfer everything to a breadboard...

Step 3: Setting Up

Picture of Setting Up

Fortunately however, we were able to transfer all of the functionality of the smartphone controlled laser to the breadboard. This means that it also has an automatic mode and a joystick to control the direction of the laser.

Ideally you would have the laser mounted inside a container where it is protected from the cat by the box. However, due to time restrictions, we mounted the laser on top of the container so that it would have more room to move rotate. Due to the unbalanced nature of mounting the servos on each other, a large amount of tape had to be used to hold down the servos as they would move around quickly and tip over.

Step 4: Plug 'er in and Get a Happy Cat

Picture of Plug 'er in and Get a Happy Cat

Now we will show a quick demonstration of our sad cat fixer.

Comments

Swansong (author)2017-04-20

This is a fun idea :)

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