Monkey Hacking on Weekend Projects

Maker News
Monkey Hacking on Weekend Projects

Hack a cymbal-banging toy into a Monkey Couch Guardian, and shoo away furry intruders before they shed all over your furniture. This project will introduce some new components to our Weekend Projects parts arsenal, namely the PIR sensor and SPDT relay. This project could be dissected into three parts: the circuitry inside the enclosure box, the Arduino and the software running on it, and the toy monkey itself. When a signature interrupts the passive infrared (PIR) sensor, the relay is triggered, which in turn drives the motor inside the monkey. The software sketch running on the Arduino controls the monkey’s start and reset times, and weighs in at less than 1 kilobyte! All you need to do with the toy is jump its power contacts and secure it to the enclosure box, and your monkey will be protecting your couch, or wherever you place it, before the weekend is over!

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2 thoughts on “Monkey Hacking on Weekend Projects

  1. trkemp says:

    Interesting idea for a project. I’ve designed equipment to try to influence animal behavior and it’s never straightforward. I don’t know how well this will work to scare off cats but it’s clever concept.

    As is the case with a lot of the designs I see here, I don’t understand why it has a microcontroller in it. Using a 556 timer (dual 555) could have provided exactly the same functionality in a much more compact, inexpensive and simple design.

    As an electrical engineer who is primarily focused on embedded software I tend to be biased toward using microcontrollers wherever they are beneficial, but in a case like this it is obvious overkill. If you’d used a cheap 8-pin micro with an internal oscillator in place of a 556, I’d probably like it, but using a $30 board in place of a $0.50 chip seems wrong.

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I'm an artist & maker. A lifelong biblioholic, and advocate for all-things geekathon. Home is Long Island City, Queens, which I consider the greatest place on Earth. 5-year former Resident of Flux Factory, co-organizer for World Maker Faire (NYC), and blogger all over the net. Howdy!

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