CatBot: Automated Cat Laser
The CatBot is an autonomous laser toy for your cat. You may say "But Joe, isn't the laser pointer the best toy for the lazy cat owner?" I'd have to say no, the CatBot takes one step further.

Using two servos, an Arduino and a cheap $3 laser you can provide your cat with endless fun.

Video of the CatBot in all of it's Laser Zeppelin glory below:

Step 1: The Problem

CatBot: Automated Cat Laser
CatBot: Automated Cat Laser
I was buying pet food and saw a $3 laser from PetCo. I thought the cat might like it. I was wrong. The cat became obsessed. Constantly grabbing the toy off of the coffee table. But she only wants to play for 1 minute then sit and stare at it. So you think, OK I guess she is bored. You put it down....

And she's back pawing at it.

The CatBot is the solution.

Step 2: Parts

CatBot: Automated Cat Laser
For this I used the following:
Arduino Uno
Hillman Hobby Parts (found @ Lowes in the screws/nuts/bolts area)
2 Servos
Zip Ties
$3 Laser cat toy.

Step 3: Disassemble the Laser

CatBot: Automated Cat Laser
The laser pops open with a screw driver. You can see it used 2x1.5v batteries. But it actually runs better at 4.5v.

Step 4: Cut the Laser

CatBot: Automated Cat Laser
The laser had to be cut up to fit on the servo arm. I drilled a hole in the center so I could mount it to the servo arm as well.

Step 5: Build the Servo Tilt/Pan

CatBot: Automated Cat Laser
I used a hodgepodge of these cool mechano/erector set pieces from Hillman. They can be found in the screw/small parts drawers at Lowes.

Step 6: Wire up the Arduino

CatBot: Automated Cat Laser
For the Arduino wiring, attach pins 8 & 9 to the servos.
Attach the laser to 5v, but 470 ohm resistor inline before the laser.

Step 7: Load the Code

CatBot: Automated Cat Laser
Use the code in the attached file to program the Arduino.
CatBot: Automated Cat Laser
catbot.ino1 KB

Step 8: Sit back and enjoy

CatBot: Automated Cat Laser
Now that it is assembled and done watch it go...
 
 

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