Cat Collar Camera

Introduction: Cat Collar Camera

This is a project that didn't work. I am publishing how far I got before I got stuck, so that others can collaborate and offer more knowledge than I had.

This is an Arduino-based project. Most of the information is pulled in some form from the Adafruit website, but this is compiled and explicitly stated tutorial.


  1. TTL Serial Camera Module
  2. Arduino Feather 32u4 Adalogger
  3. microSD card
  4. 3.7 volt Lithium Polymer Battery
  5. Adafruit PowerBoost 500 Basic
  6. Cat Harness, appropriate to the size and liking of your cat
  7. Fabric
  8. Wires
  9. Electrical tape, if necessary

Since I stopped working on the project, I heard that the PowerBoost may not be necessary as well.

After I stopped working on the project, but before completing this Instructable, another forum has been written with promising information that might allow me to get the project working. Because this is a school project, I have to have this Instructable done before I can work more on the project. Expect some sort of update soon, though.

In the meantime, here is a link to the forum to check it out for yourself:\

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Step 1:

On the Arduino IDE, open File -> Preferences. In the "Additional Boards Manager" box, enter the URL: This allows you to control different boards, including the Arduino Feather.

Step 2:

Step 3:

When you open Tools -> Boards on the Arduino IDE, if your port still does not appear or disappears:

  1. Turn on "Verbose Upload" in the Arduino IDE preferences (File -> Preferences)
  2. Plug in Feather (it won't show up as a port, but that's fine)
  3. Open the "Blink" example sketch (File -> Examples -> Basics -> Blink)
  4. Select the correct board in Tools -> Boards (Feather 32u4)
  5. Compile the "Blink" sketch
  6. Click upload to attempt to upload the code
  7. While the code is uploading, press and release the reset button. A red LED will be flashing, as the board will be in bootloading mode.
  8. The IDE should now see the port under Tools -> Port, and upload properly.

Step 4: Add MicroSD Card

Insert a microSD card into the slot of the Feather.

Step 5: CardInfo

On the Arduino IDE, open File -> Examples -> SD -> CardInfo. The sketch will tell you if your microSD card is functioning properly, as well as providing a list of all files on the card.

Step 6: ReadWrite

Open and run the example sketch File -> Examples -> SD -> ReadWrite. This will write a text file to the SD card. When it has uploaded, open the Serial Monitor. It should appear with something similar to the picture.

Step 7: Wiring

Camera: connect TX (transmit) to pin 1, connect RX to pin 0

connect GND (ground) to - on PowerBoost, and +5V to + on PowerBoost (see picture)

Arduino: connect GND to GND of PowerBoost, and connect 3V to Bat on PowerBoost

Step 8: Upload Code

This code is a modified version of the code at File -> Examples -> Adafruit VC0706 Serial Camera Library -> Snapshot.

Link to the VC0706 Library:

Note: this code does not work. I am aware that there is something wrong with the Serial references, and this is just a (very) rough draft, just including the few edits that I know are necessary.

Step 9: Attach the Battery

The battery can be attached to the Arduino to power it in several places. I found this (see picture) the most convenient. The battery is more easily and permanently attached, and, to charge the battery, you simply attach the Arduino to the computer.

Step 10: Attach Parts to the Harness

Note: This part is also a rough draft, as I did not get far enough into the project to try this out.

Superglue a small piece of cardboard to the back strap of the cat harness. Sew or glue each part of the project to the cardboard, trying to keep as closely along the back strap as possible. Next, sew or glue a piece of fabric on top of the electronics, ensuring that all wires are covered. Leave an end open and a small slit in the fabric so the Feather can be plugged into the computer and the SD card can be removed. On the picture, the paper is attached where the cardboard should be.

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    4 years ago

    This is such a fun idea! Hope you can get it to work in the future!