A cat elevator, for the discerning lazy feline in your life

crazy_cat_elevator

Ah, to live the life of a cat. The lazing about, the food delivered on demand, and the elevators – oh the glorious elevators.

No you didn’t misread and we haven’t gone crazy. We were sent a link to the video below just the other day, and while it is nearly two years old, it was new to us. From the very brief description on YouTube, it looks as if the elevator senses the cat’s entry using infrared, locking the door behind the cat before transporting it to another level of the house. While it’s often implied that cats are incredibly lazy, this contraption definitely takes things above and beyond the norm.

It’s a pretty ridiculous system if you ask us, but it’s pretty compelling just the same. If you can find any more information on it, we’d love to hear about it in the comments. If you can’t, feel free to speculate as to how you would build a cat elevator, or elaborate on the crazy contraptions you’ve built for the lazy felines in your life.

[Thanks, Andreas]

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Automated hose keeps cats from watering you

Commenter [TheCreator] reminded us of this fantastic video from [Craig Turner] who you may recognize from SBS’s Top Gear Australia Video Competition.  You see, [Craig] has been struggling for some time with the problem of neighborhood cats relieving themselves pretty much all over his stuff. Through surveillance he identified (and named) around 9 separate cats sauntering into his yard during the wee hours of the night.  The only issue now was to humanely discourage them from entering his yard.

The best solution, in this case, was a simple spray from the garden hose, but who is going to stay up all night to watch for cats? [Craig]’s ’75 Galant happens to have aftermarket door locks. These typically contain a simple powerful 12V actuator that will push or pull when given current. The actuator is strong enough, and has enough travel, to depress your typical garden sprayer handle. The lock actuators even include enough mounting hardware to tack everything together.  The only irreversible part of the hack appears to be the hole drilled into the sprayer’s handle.

The job of cat detection is handled with a PIR sensor (sourced from his home security system) and a paper towel tube to narrow the detector’s field of view. Placed at animal height the PIR detector works like a trip line, and flips a relay connected to an array of devices:  A bright LED lamp, a DSLR set to take several quick photos of the victim, An HD video camera, and the sprayer solenoid.  This whole rig is placed at a convenient choke point and hilarity ensues! A schematic is included in the video but is pretty difficult to interpret, we transcribed it for you. Some details are unclear but essentially a few relays are stapled together to provide either high or low switching signals.

Check out the video, [Craig]’s schematic, and our interpretation of [Craig]’s schematic after the jump!

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Automated faucet keeps your cat watered

Like many of us [Chris Dillon]’s cat prefers to drink cold fresh water directly from the tap. However, unlike us, [Chris]’s feline buddy is too preoccupied with cat stuff to bother flipping off the faucet after its use. As it turns out, this was an excellent opportunity not only for [Chris] to flex his project muscles, but also to lay the groundwork for future home automation projects.  While most of us may go for a simple solenoid [Chris] had to make the rig completely reversible. The result is an automated  faucet control which involves an infrared sensor, Arduino,  and tight fitting rail system with a servo to operate the sink handle.

After getting all of the hardware and the sensor sorted [Chris] went on to add a data logging PC to the mix. The faucet setup communicates with a Linux server via Xbee modules, and populates a MongoDB database. The setup even allows [Chris] to flag false positives (human sink use for example) and produce charts of his feline friend’s water usage. We suspect the cat will be none too pleased when it gets its water bill.

Don’t forget to check out [Chris Dillon]’s site for details on the project including code and a list of lessons learned. Also, since this is the internet after all, we have several other cat related projects for your viewing pleasure.

[Thanks Chris Burrows (and nephew)]

Check out a video of the setup in action after the jump.

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Pet-squirting waterwall

waterwall

Sometimes, pets need to be trained to stay away from certain things. Over at sump.org, his cats needed to be kept out of his room. He used their natural fear of water by creating the waterwall, a motion-sensing device that sprays water. The project is incredibly simple and uses very few components. It is based around an IR intrusion detector and a windshield washer pump. Although that worked well enough, he also hooked it up to his computer via the parallel port so that he could take pictures as the cats (or people) are sprayed. Although the project is old, it shows how few components are really needed to achieve this kind of behavior.

Related: Motion detecting cat toy

[thanks todd]