Feb 27, 2018 | By Benedict

Programming expert Rongzhong Li has designed a complex 3D printable robotic cat equipped with artificial intelligence and numerous cool features. The fake feline, which contains an Arduino Pro Mini and a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, has a “Super Hard” classification on hackster.io.

Robotic pets have long fascinated the consumer market, with toys like the Sony AIBO enjoying big success. In fact, the legendary AIBO is now back after an 11-year hiatus, to the delight of many.

Unfortunately, it comes with a $1,800 price tag.

A better option—if you’ve got the skills—might be to 3D print and program your own robotic pet, which is exactly what Rongzhong Li has done with the OpenCat project.

Available under a GPL3+ license, OpenCat consists of an Arduino Pro Mini and a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, and requires a 3D printer for fabricating the body.

The Arduino is responsible for motion, while the Raspberry Pi deals in the existential, focusing on what Li describes as “more serious questions, such as ‘Who am I? Where do I come From? Where am I going?’”

For those who simply want to improve their own mechanical animal, there is also a “mini” version of the cat available which consists only of the Arduino part, aimed at STEM education projects and the maker community.

Li first started developing OpenCat as a well to explore the potential of the Raspberry Pi. Now, however, his advanced 3D printed cat is used to pass on that knowledge to others, and could soon become a commercial endeavor.

(Images: Rongzhong Li / Hackster.io)

“I'm now teaching a university robotics class using the Mini kit,” he says. “I hope to sell more kits to validate the market and bring in some revenue to keep the project going.”

Eventually, the robotic cat could hit a crowdfunding platform like Indiegogo.

Around two days of printing are required to print all the various parts of OpenCat. Some mechanisms are designed with a precision finer than 0.2 mm, which could be a stretch for some printers.

See the full project here.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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