Cats are among the most popular domesticated creatures, and their penchant for chasing laser pointers is well known. With a pair of felines of his own to look after, [Tobi] set about making a device to help keep them entertained.
The aim of the device is to automate the motion of a laser pointer to make playing with the cats a hands-free operation. A pan-tilt servo mechanism has a low-power red laser pointer fitted, and the assembly is hooked up to a NodeMCU microcontroller. Based on the ESP8266, it allows the system to be controlled remotely over WiFi. Various sweeps can be automatically commanded from a smartphone, or the servo position can be controlled manually.
Test footage confirms that [Tobi’s] pets do indeed find the device to be worthy prey. It’s a popular build for cat lovers, and readily achievable with off-the-shelf parts. If you’ve built your own hardware to keep these proud hunters out of trouble, be sure to hit up the tip line.
13 thoughts on “Laser Toy Keeps Cats Entertained”
Would a cat, or dog, be equilly happy if nurtured by a robot who does all the human things a pet desires? Maybe even more if the robot has no other occupation than the pet. Wouldn’t be too hard of an experiment to carry out.
Cute ex machina? 🐈
Careful, though. Cat-proofing a machine is harder than you might think:
Superboy’s pet should have been a cat instead of a dog….
No! Cats clearly only tolerate our continued existence on this world because we can open the food can and because we can make the laser-pointer do crazy, unpredictable things… just observe the looks they give us. Eliminating humans from the equation of one of those things could lead to our ultimate demise. Don’t dance on the minefield! Our species’ survival is at stake!
Totally convinced my cats would kill and me if they were large enough.
Kill and eat me*… When do we get edit options?
Once cats evolve thumbs we’re doomed!
There’s been a patent on this since 1993….
It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye
The servo controlled device might not be as careful to not shine it in the cats eye.
Also, laser chasing can be frustrating for cats (they can never win/catch the thing).
Well to follow up using a physical target.
Even fungus, virus, and bacteria are attempting to consume us. Eventually it’ll be the worms that succeed. Till then some laser pointer torture for cats and high pitched whistles for dogs seem an amusing distraction with some satisfaction.
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