Cat Laser

That ball of light will be destroyed!

Cat laser is record and playback laser toy for cats.

Activation is quick and intuitive:

  1. Press record.
  2. Pick up the Cat Laser and move the laser spot in a pattern you want to repeat.
  3. Press stop and set the Cat Laser down on the edge of a table top.
  4. Press play.
  5. Watch cats go berserk as the laser plays a loop of the pattern you just recorded.

Cat Laser uses an Arduino Nano (Atmega328p) for the microcontroller and MPU6050 for the inertial measurement unit. Playback time and angular resolution is significantly diminished by the the Arduino Nano’s limited RAM. A better choice for a microcontroller would be a STM32, Teensy, or ESP8266/ESP32.

Two generic SG90 analog servos are used for the laser playback mechanism. They are slow and noisy.

The frame and laser mechanism parts were designed in AutoCAD.

The MPU-6050 is mounted on the button bracket upon assembly.

Cat Laser is powered by a micro USB cable connected to the Arduino Nano plugged in on the back of the housing.

The Cat Laser was both a success and failure. It succeeded at recording, playback, and exciting playful kittens. It failed at retaining the kitten’s attention as they became more interested in the noisy servos.

Source code and CAD files: https://github.com/reubenstr/CatLaser

Potential Improvements:

A future version would include using a MCU with more RAM, using quieter and faster servos, and adding internal batteries either AA or a LiPo. The housing and servo mechanism would be completely redesigned using 3D printed parts for sleekness and rigidity.


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