Counter Intelligence: An Attempt to Keep Curious Cats at Bay

Arduino Technology
Counter Intelligence: An Attempt to Keep Curious Cats at Bay

Counter Intelligence
Steve Winter of Berkeley, CA designed Counter Intelligence to catch his cats trying to investigate the kitchen counter when he and his wife are not around. Steve used an Arduino Nano with a Maxbotix ultrasonic rangefinder to monitor the countertop. If the rangefinder senses something close by—say, a feline—it fires a toy gun that makes a “p-tang laser sound.” The knob controls the distance that is being monitored and the flexible monopod allows him to point the rangefinder/gun anywhere he needs to. Not only that, but the suction cup base on the monopod lets him mount it almost anywhere (such as the refrigerator). When asked how well it works, Steve says that “the cats are not deterred by the tiny toy laser gun but we get great amusement from it. We know when the cats are on the kitchen counter, but by the time we walk to the kitchen the cats are long gone (undoubtedly laughing at us from the other end of the house).”


4 thoughts on “Counter Intelligence: An Attempt to Keep Curious Cats at Bay

  1. Jim McCorison says:

    This must confuse the cats. If they are anything like our cats, the only rule they know is that they aren’t supposed to be on the counter when the humans are within sight. Any other time the counter is fair game. Now you introduce a noise maker that acts when humans aren’t around. Oh boy, another rule to figure out.

  2. Brian Gaut says:

    Maybe something louder than the “p-tang” would work… like, say, a blender defender :P

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Matt Richardson is a San Francisco-based creative technologist and Contributing Editor at MAKE. He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.

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