One of the best things about a cat is it’s ears. They are so expressive.
Illustration Credit: Lucy Knisley. For full version, see here.
What we’re making
Animatronic Cat Ears
- Basic setup
- Your own computer
- A breadboard
- USB A to B connector
- breadboarding wires.
- One push button
- One 10k resistor (brown, black, orange)
- Two servos
- Headband and some velcro to attach servos to the headband
- Plastic straws to attach the ears to the servos
- Foam or paper material to make the ears
- Tape or Glue – some kind of adhesive.
Hooking up the hardware
Tips for Success:
- Servos have three wires coming out of them:
- Connect Brown to GND
- Connect Red to 5V
- Connect Orange to the Digital Pins in the Arduino, in this case, the servo controlling the left ear connects to pin 9 and the servo controlling the right ear connects to pin 10.
- Push buttons are perfectly square. If your connection doesn’t work, then it’s possible you may need to rotate it 90 degrees.
What to do if you are done early?
- Design a new emotion to display and try to program it into the Arduino sketch. What would a cat’s ears do if it was angry and wanted to scratch you? And if it’s happy? Here are some cat gifs for inspiration….or personal amusement. Whateverz….
- Maybe you don’t like cats and you would prefer dogs or dolphins. What emotions would they display? And maybe they wouldn’t even use their ears but their tails instead. Thinks about how you’d modify the set up and the code to make a dog tail wag. Here are some dog gifs and a picture of some huskies smooching: