The Internet Of Interactive Cats

[Tuco] is a cat who shares the space of [Micah Elizabeth Scott]. He is a large tabby tomcat, and he is polydactyl, which is to say he has a congenital excess of toes. He is an extremely active and engaging creature and enjoys playing and interacting with her. We covet [Tuco].

Sadly for the rest of us who love cats, of course, unless we know [Micah] personally we’ll never have the opportunity to play with [Tuco]. She appreciates the cat-shaped void that will leave in our lives, and to help us she’s building a telepresence robot to allow the rest of us to interact with him in real time.

Her idea is to make a flying robot equipped with a camera on a gimbal, and because to mounting it on a multirotor platform would be a hazard, instead she’s making something closer to the aerial cameras you might be familiar with from sporting fixtures, a motorised platform suspended from the corners of her roof space on a set of nylon ropes, that can move at will by adjusting the length of each tether. It is suggested that one day the device will be able to launch plastic bolts for [Tuco] to chase and to incorporate other interactive features to allow online users to engage with him.

We are shown progress so far in the video introducing the project that we’ve placed below the break, she has completed a prototype windlass mechanism and worked on reverse engineering the gimbal mechanism for serial control. We’ll probably never meet [Tuco] in person, but we can’t wait to interact with him online.

OK, if you’ve got this far you’re a cat lover, and if you’re not you’ll be straight into the comments complaining that Hackaday has gone to hell in a handcart full of cat memes. But if you’re the former, take a look at this automated laser pointer cat toy, or these feline-carried wardriving servers.

Thanks [Morris].

17 thoughts on “The Internet Of Interactive Cats

  1. 3:55 You win the internet.
    4:20 My cat does the same, gotta go get the ladder… haha.

    What does [Tuco] keep chasing? It looks like popcorn, sounds like a plastic bead.

  2. All I can think is that people are going to want to launch balls right in the cat’s face, or at the owner.

    Reminds me of the episode of TBBT where the internet-controlled tanks did a very similar thing.

    Definitely needs some sort of definition of “no-fly” zones and recognition of the cat to keep people from pegging him in the face :D

    Otherwise, a fun project, even if one only allows robot access to a small group of friends..

    1. Yeah, i’m also somewhat worried about the security of the feline (and humans in the area). But i think Micah Elizabeth Scott will build the necessary security features inside this thing. Judging from her projects she really knows what she is doing (and loves her cat).

  3. So this is what the live streams are about! Great stuff. The only worry I have is that my sister’s cat would sleep on top of her Tivo and it was only after it failed that she discovered it got full of cat hair! This is a lovely project and great fun to watch both the build and the result.

    1. The horror of it will never leave you. Years from now you will still wake up screaming in the early hours of the morning. The one question which you will ask yourself over and over again is the one question you never be able to answer. WHY???

  4. LOL at how she talks about her cat, like he’s a lover almost :D
    Still, people are often very enthusiastic about their pets and this is a nice little project to benefit the cat and others. So I guess I’ll be following this one in the future.

  5. Oh my goodness! Tuco is like my missing cat Lolong, except that he’s a black cat with some spots of white. So active – climbing ceilings, chasing balls, hunting for a bird. Yes, he did get a bird, once when he was hungry and I was too immersed with my project, so he went and get one and literally nudging me to cook it for him, LOL! Anyway, I think I will be following this as well, anticipating on the finish robot project you made.


  6. New video (scanlime:026 – Winch Bot) giving some overall view about this project and some details on the first finished winch bot. It’s truly incredibly how much time and effort (and knowledge!) Micah already put into this (“awfull lot of engineering” as she says) and what she achieved! Hats off! Sadly the live-streams with all the details are too long to watch them all, i’m sure they contain a lot of really interesting details.

    Also i *really* laughed about the “DaveCAD 2.0.0 x64 – cracked version by Tuco Crew”!

    from the video:
    “With some 3D-printing, drilling and a whole lot of CAD” – and a whole lot of CAT(s) too! (Wasn’t CAD the abbreviation for “cat assisted design” actually?)

    Oh and btw, if Micah is reading here (i don’t have a Twitter or Youtube or … account, so why not say it here?): I saw your (recorded) live stream from one week ago (“Cat leg update, some mail, robot lights, and rust love”) where you talked about Cloud and his (her??) broken leg. Thank you for taking care of him/her! I hope (s)he will be better soon and i’m sure you uploaded and will continue to upload (livestream?) a lot of love and care to this cloud! :-) (sorry, i couldn’t resist about this joke, i was actually surprised i didn’t saw it on Twitter when i looked if the chirurgy went well…) And i hope your “complicated cat politics” (lol!!) problems are finally a bit less stressful than in the stream… Beeing a “feline supervisor” can be quite exhausting (that certainly why you had coffee instead of tea in the stream…)

    Looking forward to see more fascinating videos and thank you for sharing!

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