Let's Make Robots!

Cat Splat!

I mentioned at the end of my tip/walkthrough on making IR obstacle detection sensors that they could be used for tracking an object and it would be great to track the cat with it and shoot it with a waterpistol. So now I'm posting it as a challenge. It's usually difficult to wash a pet anyway (not just cats) so lets make it fun!

Before anyone acusses me of animal cruelity, I like all animals (and some insects) but damn it is funny when a cat or dog is curiously investigating some new object and they get squirted for their trouble.

Make some sort of object tracking system using whatever sensors you have. Use it to aim a waterpistol at any object within a certain range. Video it tracking and squirting a curious pet. It must track the pet prior to and during the squirting to demonstrate your robots hunting ability. The funniest video wins.  It may be a stationary system or a mobile pet squirter.

I used cat splat because it rymed but any pet can compete even if its not yours.

I've had to extend the the challenge to allow for seasonal differences (Petsicles will be disqualified).

SplatBot5__small_.jpgThis is SplatBot MkI. I built him to give anyone interested in this challenge some ideas and prove it can be done easily with a reasonably cheap pump. Admittedly MkI is a bit clumsy with all that weight on top and ended up straining the servo that raises and lowers the cannon. The MkII will have the waterbottle on the chassis and a better IR tracking system, something I still haven't perfected yet.












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I just checked the date and realised that this challenge ends on the same day as the robot video challenge. So far Mike has the only entry that i can remember with Guard II. Now that Mikv is making "Rat strikes back" we may have to vote on the winner. If someone else has made an entry that I've forgotten then please forgive me and remind me.

Making half-decent videos takes longer than making decent robots. That must have been eight hours work. Thanks for your kind comments.

poor mousey didn't know what hit him I think he may have got the idea after the first few times! Which leads me to show my age again ... "of course, I was gettig used to it by then" - John Cleese after being hit in the face by a cricket ball for the third or fourth time in a Monty Python sketch.

No snow here yet. We have been told to expect it tomorow or Monday. I doubt we'll actually see much here in the city centre. Beautiful sunrise this morning though. Sky was on fire. I've sent a pic to the BBC - we'll see if they publish it in their Friday round-up.

Water balloons are a possibility. Not sure if the motor has the torque to throw those. the balls that I'm using are hollow plastic (you can hear them on the floor). I'd have to find another moving target - next door's guinea pigs perhaps.


Tell me about it. I spent at least 3hrs (including travel) over two days for the beach videos of SplatBot (getting up at 4am so there would be no wind). Another hour at my Brothers house and probably 2 days at least editing video (especially syncing to music).

But as with your video, the effort shows in the results.

I just assumed you lived by the beach. Don't all Australians live either at/on the beach or in the desert? ;-)


In some places, it takes a couple of hours to get to the end of the driveway but in this case I drove to a section of beach that wasn't going to have to many early risers on it. Even then, by 5am there were a few people out for a walk.

I want to enter the Challenge with Guard II. I'm substituting a mouse for the cat, and I'm pelting it with balls rather than splatting it with water. (Water in-doors is a bit of a no-no). The video is on my bot page.


Well done Mike!!

The video was nicely put together, poor mousey didn't know what hit him :D

Although not exactly what I had in mind for the contest The robot does search for it's prey and does shoot it. The contest will continue for some time to allow snow bound members to compete. (how cold is it at your place?). SplatBot is not in the contest (he's the judge) and was built simply to encourage others like yourself.

If possible I'd like to see Guard II outside with a small water ballon or something. (garden hose would work :-)

At this point your in the lead!

I'm still battling with my first bot, so I don't think I can get into this contest right now.

But I got the perfect ideia for squirting. There are litle water pumps to used in model landscapes for making "rivers". they work with low voltage, and if you pump it thru a small openning they squirt. i've done this one time, I'm shure it works. Good cat hunt! :)


Thanks for that Macsoft, I'll have to look for them next time I'm at a hobby shop.
btw, is it allowed to use a remotely controlled robot ? :)