Let's Make Robots!

KT (Pronounced Katie) the Kitty Terrorizer

Hey everyone! Many of you remember my Dog_Bot project I was working on. Well after a move and a bunch of set backs, I cancelled the idea. So instead Im building a little buddy for my cat to play with, enter KT


(please excuse the terrible pics, Im working on better ones!)


The basic concept of motion was taken from this bot here


The only significant differences in my desings are a wider body (to make room for the breadboard) my use of two power sources and using some craft wood instead of spatulas fr legs. All of the range of motion is preserved however.



some pics of the initial body



At this point, all KT could do was walk ( in an impressivly straight line I might add). So I put her down on the floor to see what the cat would do..... and success! My cat (named Opie if your curious) loved it! KT had the cat running around, chasing and just loving life. There was however, one flaw that came up several times.... my cat would get playful and it would without fail knock a wire or two from KT loose, resulting in a power loss. 


The solution? KT needed a body :)



Thats just a casing made from popscicle sticks and Uber-heavy paper. Just a prototypr until I get some very light gaugr metal from work. As a prototype though, it worked extremely well. Not once did the cat knock anything loose after the body was added!


You might also notice this back shelf that was attached... What does it do? Well it serves two purposes,

1.) it forms a tiny shelf that is perfectly measured to keep the battery cases from rolling around or falling off

2.) It provides space for future add-ons!


By the end, I plan to have a tiny laser pointer up on here, so when the cat is around, the laser will activate and send the cat on a merry chase :)

Im getting a little scatter brained right now but here are my next steps...

1.) Program the IR sensor in

2.) Work on "turning" script so he can change course

3.) get the laser pointer attached

4.) make him look good (MO BLING, SON!)



Anyway thank you all for reading, i really do appreciate feedback and alternative Ideas. Again, sorry fot the poor quality in pics, hopefully tomorrow or so i'll be able to get better ones up. 


You stay classy LMR!

*************Update 12.15.12*************** So I made a very sad realization today, my cat does not care about this robot or laser pointers at all! Seriously, what kind of animal is this? Well since the cat ont care, I decided to change up the bot. I started with a more sleek look, since I didnt need the back deck for the laser pointer. An old shoe box came in handy as the body. After I painted it up, I threw it all together and here is what I got:


Spoiler. I'll be adding some cool LED stuff to the front here.


Here are some more pics:



The basic concept is the same however....


Im am really running into one major problem... traction. These legs really are not ideal. When I let the robot walk on the wooden legs it just runs in place, when I added some higher friction material it struggled to go an inch. Im not sure what to do from here. Any suggestions on materials for feet? 


********************Update again 9.15.12*****************


So it has been a very productive day! Thanks to Lumi pointing out my design error, I had KT up and walking in no time. If you didnt read the particular comment Im reffereing to, the problem was that KT's legs were completely vertical. I needed one (or both) of the legs to be angled so they would raide off the ground. Thanks Lumi, I owe you one!


Anyway, up at the top is a quick vid of KT on her maiden voyage on better legs!



You will also notice the little light display that goes on during the startup sequence. I wanted to add a little gusto to the robot, something to raise the bar :) Hope your guys enjoy, please leave some feedback!


PS: Tomorrow I'll be adding the IR sensor and working on turning sequences!



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Cool project tho. I am wondering if the legs are not too long, meaning that the cat could flip it by playing (bodycheck). The laser is a good idea too, since cats are very interested in chasing those little red/green dots.


I read once that laser pointers are as bad for pet eyes as they are for human eyes. A robot going willy-nilly with a laser pointer might not be such a good idea.

Yes right, but powering down the laser to a minimum level should do the trick. Also the cat will not look into the beam, she/he will just chase the dot moving on the flor. No need to move the dot at the wall since there might be a problem with curtains etc.

@ Lumi, Origianlly I wondered about the length of the legs as well. However that does not seem to be an issue. I hooked a shoe string to a stick (so the cat could bat it around) Despite the cat pulling, raming and pouncing on the bot, it never even tilted off to the side, even in mid stride! 

@Birdmun, Thanks for the input, I have never heard much about lasers being damaging but it makes sense. Ideally, the laser would sit up high and point low (meaning not far from the base of the bot) What that will hopefully mean is that the angle of the beam of light is such that the cat wont look up into the light. I'll see how it all comes together, obviously I wont put my pet in danger :) Thanks a ton!

How about adding some masking tape to the "feet" and then incrementally adding a stripe of silicon or something similar? If you go too far, you can always remove the tape and work back to the point before you went too far. :)

To start, one stripe per foot. maybe two stripes per foot after that. Keep working up until it doesn't move properly. Remove the tape and go back to one less stripe.

The problem with your robot is the servo mount. Not one of your legt is lifted during the walking. This way if the left leg is moving forward, the right leg is going backwards and almost undo the effect of the left leg. 

My idea is to "tilt" the servos a bit, so that the front servo is facing in a small angle forwards. Keep the rear servo as it is. Not sure if this will work but you can easy try it be adding a small wedge to the servo mount.

After I wrote the update, I looked online at similar walkers.... And your right, all of them have the front legs at an angle! Thank you so much for noticing! Ill try to do a little work and see how it turn out.

Well that's awesme :-) Now I would try to tilt the rear legs. Why? If you do so the weight will shift to the rear leg which is in rear position and give your front leg a better lift. 

Anyway, that's the challenge with 4-legged walkers, there is a good chance that they flip over or just don't walk. Try little changes at the time and see how it's performing.

Ok, if you write "I owe you one" then please go ahead and build more cool robots. That's all reward I need ;-)

Well Ill get some more pics up with the legs fixed, but I actually did go ahead and tilt the back ones as well. Now with all of the legs lifting at some point, Ill be testing out different materials for traction. He walks slowly (beacuse sometimes the feet that are on the ground slip around) but he doestake full strides.