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A remote feline entertainment system doubles as a real-time cat meme generator, offering a creative and interactive experience for both cats and their owners.
Based on the initial research of using an E-27 light-bulb thread as the starting point and the interface for new device developments – see the
E27 + More and Eyelight Dot Me projects, the Purrfelinus Alpha project became the prototype to incorporate a variety of hardware components, including a Raspberry Pi 4 (Model B Rev 1.1) running Pi OS (Bullseye, 32-BIT), a Raspberry Pi 4 Camera Module (Rev. 1.3), the SG 90 Servomotor, two 5.1V/3A power supplies, an E27 thread (adapted from an LED bulb), and 3D-printed components (as detailed in the documentation – see PDF).
The result is a concept enhancing the interaction and playfulness between cat owners and their feline companions. By using a remote-controlled laser pointer, the project allows cat owners to engage their pets in playful activities even when they are not physically present. This concept blends technology and pet care to provide a fresh and convenient way to mentally stimulate and entertain cats while strengthening the bond between owners and their beloved pets, all within a world where cat memes dominate the internet.
From concept sketch to final prototype.
In addition to the hardware elements named above, the project relies on several software modules:
Flask, a modular web framework for Python, serves as the backend, facilitating the control of the servo motor's angle via a round slider in the "purrfelinus alpha" web application. Flask also manages the main page, handles the real-time video feed, and processes angle adjustments sent by the user of the slider as control element.
RoundSlider, a semi-circular slider, is a user interface element employed to control the servo motor's angle. Implemented with the jQuery roundSlider library, it allows users to select a value within a range by turning a circular knob around a central axis. It sends the current angle value to the server. Furthermore, the slider's behavior has been enhanced by customizing transition properties and CSS classes, incorporating a stylish animation which employs a custom cubic-bezier curve as a transition-timing function, achieving smoother and more engaging slider behavior as users adjust the value, reminiscent of a cat-and-mouse game's movement dynamics.
The enclosing body was modelled in TinkerCAD, a web-based CAD program developed by Autodesk. The project's development process is documented through a series of iterations, providing an overview of the various steps involved in building the hardware prototype and integrating electronic components.