This project will show you how to create a laser toy for your cat which is controlled over the web with a Raspberry Pi. The project demonstrates using a web application to control servos with the Raspberry Pi and an excellent way to keep your cat exercising when you’re umm busy playing minecraft.
To build this project you will need the following:
Raspberry Pi (either model A or B will work).
Two servos, like these micro servos.
Laser diode. You can buy one or scavenge one out of a laser pointer (what I’ve chosen to do in this project).
PWM/servo controller based on the PCA9685 chip.
Network camera that can output a MJPEG video stream. I use this Wansview camera, but check for support from other brands such as Axis, Foscam, etc. See the note on video streaming below to understand why a network camera is used instead of a webcam or other video source.
You will also need basic tools and supplies such as a hot glue gun (or other means of fastening servos and laser diode), a power supply for your laser diode and servos (your Pi’s 5V output is not powerful enough alone–use a battery pack, wall wart, or bench supply), and wires to connect the Raspberry Pi GPIO to the servo controller board. A breadboard and Pi Cobbler breakout are perfect for this project.
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.