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.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.