Bill Lindmeier
Harry Chen
Max Ma

Laser Cat

Laser Cat is an interactive artwork that simulates the behavior of a real cat.

Introduction to Physical Computing

Laser Cat

An interactive Arduino car that follows laser beam. This work simulates emotional connection between man and cat: waving laser beam is like a cat teaser, and Arduino car simulates a cat.


Physical Computing Midterm Project, Nov. 2012


On top of a 9x9 feet square area, we wire a webcam with a laptop and run a Cinder application to use OpenCV as a computer vision engine to do color tracking. Also, Cinder app sends a steering instruction to the car by Xbee wirelessly. There are two Xbees, one has attached on the car and the other has been attached on the control laptop. We also provide a green laser pointer, users can wave this laser pointer to make the green laser pointer onto the playground to control our car in a limited boundary area.


- Color tracking

We use red, blue and green colors as tracking and positioning marker. Red and blue colors are gently diffused by two ping pongs on the top of Arduino car. Also, the green color has been projected sharply by a 5mW 532nm laser pointer.

- Vehicle steering

Because of the mechanical design of car wheels, we don’t pivot the wheels to control movements but by rotating the wheels in opposition to each other to make different force.

- XBee

Using XBee 1mw chip by Sparkfun. To control XBee are the same as serial communication for Arduino. We use XBee to send steering instruction from laptop to Arduino car.